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The Whitehorse Star, January 27, 1950

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star, 1950-1959

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

Explorer's Guides to Yukon Communities



  • January 6, 1950: With this issue, the Whitehorse Star commences on its fiftieth year of service to this community (read the article here).

  • January 10, 1950: The St. Mary's Hospital in Dawson is destroyed by fire.
  • January 10, 1950: The local Royal Canadian Legion holds its annual meeting and elects the following officers: President, James Porter; First Vice-President, R.Watson; Second Vice-president, E. Gay; Secretary, A.K. Parley: Executive Members are; Mrs. Warren, A.E. Dawes and W.J. Morris.

  • January 17, 1950: Chief Jim Boss of the Lebarge Indian Band dies.


  • February 3, 1950: the largest aerial search ever in North America has found no trace of a United States Air Force C-54 with 44 people on board. It was last heard from on January 26. No sign of the aircraft has ever been found (2020).

  • February 17, 1950: Operation Sweetbriar, the largest and most realistic exercise ever staged in the sub-Arctic by combined Canadian and American forces got under way Monday when went into action on February 13. Sub-zero weather accompanied by a strong north wind and heavy snow were a challenge.

  • February 24, 1950: Gene Jacquot of Burwash Landing died in the Whitehorse General Hospital on Sunday, February 19, 1950, at the age of 72. Only February 23, services were held at Kluane Lake and he was buried beside his brother Louis.
  • February 24, 1950: Maurice "Moe" Grant and his Tiger Moth airplane have disappeared between Taku and Carcross. He was last seen on February 21.


  • March 3, 1950: Yukon MP J. Aubrey Simmons wires his office that included in the estimates tabled in the Commons is $2,350.000 for completion of the Mayo - Carmacks - Whitehorse highway and a sum of $100,000 toward the construction of a public school in Whitehorse.
  • March 3, 1950: Moe Grant is rescued from his crashed Tiger Moth with badly frozen feet.
  • March 3, 1950: Martian Berrigan dies at Whitehorse General Hospital on February 26, at the age of 78. He built several cabins in Whitehorse, including a famous 3-storey one on Lambert street.

  • March 10, 1950: The trial of Dr. Herman N. Sander, charged with murder of a cancer-ridden patient, was concluded Wednesday with the jury bringing in a verdict of “Not Guilty".
  • March 10, 1950: With only 423 residents turning out to vote, incorporation of Whitehorse was rejected by a margin of 23 votes.
  • March 10, 1950: On Tuesday afternoon, a fatal accident occurred in the new RCAF area. Six-year-old Millard Jean Ozon, daughter of Cpl. Izon, RCAF, who was on her sleigh at the time, collided on the highway with a truck owned by the Poole Construction Co.

  • March 17, 1950: The Yukon Outfitters Association is formed. Alec Davis is elected President, and M.V. Nolan is Secretary-Treasurer.
  • March 24, 1950: The British Yukon Navigation Co. Highway Division of the White Pass & Yukon Route, in a campaign of accident-free driving inaugurated May 1st, 1949, set a record of one million miles before last Christmas. This campaign covered busses, trucks, refrigerator trucks and freight trucks on the Alaska Highway and Haines Road.
  • March 24, 1950: The annual meeting of the North Star Civic Center Club elects the following officers: President, George Alywin; Vice-President, Ron Greenslade; Secretary, Jim Patterson; Treasurer, Harold Damon. The executive will include one representative each from the Board of Trade, B.P.O. Elks, I.O.D.E., the Royal Canadian Legion, the Kiwanis Club, the Northwest Highway System and the R.C.A.F.
  • March 24, 1950: The Yukon Fish and Game Association elects new officers. President, W. D. MacBride; Vice-President, C. F. Rosenberg; Secretary, Harry Gordon-Cooper; Treasurer, Tom Portlock.

  • March 31, 1950: In order to keep the Atlin Road open to heavy truck traffic as long as possible it is requested that all heavy trucks travel over this road between the hours of midnight and 9 a.m. This applies also to wood trucks. If this is not done then the road will require closing due to thawing conditions.


  • April 7, 1950: Representatives from the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys will be at Whitehorse from April 12-19th and at Dawson from April 21st to May 13th. The purpose of this visit is to verify and audit applications for assistance payments for 1949 under the provisions of the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act.
  • April 7, 1950: The RCMP raid an ace-away game 75 yards southwest of Strickland Street and 8th Avenue. Sixteen people were arrested and appeared before the newly appointed Justice of the Peace, John Kerr. All were fined and gambling paraphernalia was confiscated.
  • April 7, 1950: Herman M. Peterson, as Peterson's Air Service, has applied on March 28 to the Air Transport Board for a licence to operate a charter commercial air service from a base at Atlin, B. C.

  • April 14, 1950: Truckers, particularly wood truckers, have not been complying with instructions not to use the Atlin Road during the daytime. As a result the road has been closed to all traffic between the hours of 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily until further notice.

  • April 21, 1950: The technicolor film "No Man is an Island," which portrays the world's largest lead-zinc mine at Trail, B.C. in all its operations, including the smelting and refining of its marketable products, will be shown in the Capitol Theatre Sunday afternoon. Through the co-operation and generosity of Mr. Sam McClimon there will be no admission charge.
  • April 21, 1950: At the time of the fire at St. Mary's Hospital in Dawson, Bishop Coudert notified the Vatican of the disaster. This week he received a letter from the Vatican Secretary of State in which the Sovereign Pontiff bestowed his apostolic blessings upon the Sisters of St. Ann, accompanied by a gift of $1,000.

  • April 28, 1950: A 70-mile stretch of the Alaska Highway north of Tok, paved last year, has been closed to all traffic because of weather conditions. Paved sections are the only portions which give road engineer much worry during the breakup season.
  • April 28, 1950: Johnnie Ned, Old-Time Indian of the Yukon, passed away in the Whitehorse General Hospital on April 24 after a lengthy illness, at the age of 59 years. He was a Big Game Guide in the past and spent his entire life in the Yukon.


  • May 5, 1950: Pilot Pat Callison has added a third plane to his fleet, now making three. It is a Fairchild 71, a 7-place ship, powered by a 450 h.p. Wasp motor. He purchased it from Northern Airways Ltd.
  • May 5, 1950: To provide for the necessary increased hospital accommodation at Dawson, a tent ward has been erected at the temporary site formerly the residence of Mr. McLeod White, corner of Princess and Fifth.
  • May 5, 1950: The Board of Trade elects officers at their annual meeting: President, Alan McGregor; Vice-President, Keith Johnson; Secretary, R. J. Rowan; Treasurer, Doug Cavaye.

  • May 12, 1950: Mr. F. W. Ackles informs us that on May 1st he purchased the business formerly carried on by Johnnie Johns at Mile 872 on the Alaska Highway. In future it will be operated under the style of "The Pines."
  • May 12, 1950: Fresh grayling is now on sale in the local markets, brought into town by local natives from down-river points. Believed to be the first catch this spring in the Yukon river.
  • May 12, 1950: Extensive alterations have been made to the Elks Hall. The old stage has been removed entirely and the men’s room moved to the front of the building at the rear of the bar. The ramp has also been relocated in a much more convenient position whilst a new floor has been installed in the gallery. The seating accommodation in the main hall has thus been extended a further fifteen feet which additional space is sorely needed to accommodate the increased membership. The premises have also been repainted inside.

  • May 19, 1950: George and Pat Van Bibber are in Vancouver to apply for a licence to operate ferries across the Stewart and Yukon rivers. This is the first trip Outside ever for George, 25, and Pat, 28. Born at Pelly Crossing, they are sons of Ira Van Bibber.

  • May 26, 1950: Vimy Yeulet is acclaimed Queen of the Y.P.A. (Young People's Association) Sports Day.
  • May 26, 1950: Horace Moore, owner/editor of the Whitehorse Star, sells the newspaper to Tom Bain. A local business group to sign a promissory note at the Canadian Bank of Commerce to make this transaction possible. Yearly subscription remains at $3.00.
  • May 26, 1950: At the instigation of the Board of Trade, the merchants of Whitehorse have agreed to close their stores on Saturday, June 10, to give their fullest support to the RCAF on Air Force Day.
  • May 26, 1950: The Department of Mines and Technical Surveys is undertaking its largest survey program ver this year. In the Yukon, Dr. H. S. Bostock will again supervise the geological program and Dr. K. C. McTaggart will continue detailed mapping in the Mayo silver-lead-zinc area. Four-mile mapping will be conducted by J. O. Wheeler in the mineralized area partly under development in the Whitehorse region; by Dr. E. D, Kindle in Dezdeash area west of Whitehorse, favourable for gold and base metals; by R. P. Campbell in the Genlyon area, containing gold and other minerals; by J. E. Muller in the Kluane Lake area, containing metalliferous deposits and coal; and by R. Mulligan in the metalliferous Teslin Lake area.


  • June 2, 1950: "The Cocktail Lounge Ordinance" is passed May 11 by the Territorial Council and calls for a Yukon wide plebiscite on the sale of liquor in Cocktail lounges. In the plebiscite on September 22, 1950, Yukoners vote in favour of Cocktail lounges. (see also May 24, 1951)
  • June 2, 1950: J. A. Jeckell, former Controller of the Yukon Territory, dies May 31, 1950 at the age of 69.

  • June 7, 1950: The Liberal Women's Auxiliary hold their first meeting. Officers elected are: Honorary Presidents, Mrs. Louis St. Laurent and Mrs. Aubrey Simmons: President, Mrs. R. B. Cousins; Vice President, Mrs. B. M. Kerruish; Secretary, Mrs. L. M. Schram; Treasurer; Mrs. N. Dennison. Other members of the executive include Mrs. M. Borland, Mrs. V. Clarke and Mrs. E. MacIntyre.

  • June 9, 1950: A modern brewery is proposed for Whitehorse. Plans are underway to choose a site with a suitable water supply.

  • June 16, 1950: The Whitehorse Inn Tavern opens for business. The tavern is one of the finest on the Pacific Coast. Mr. T.C. Richards spared no expense in giving the patrons a comfortable and pleasant environment.

  • June 23, 1950: The erection of a new hotel in Whitehorse, the '98 is announced.

  • June 30, 1950: Parliament approved a power development project in Mayo to supply electricity to mines and other potential customers in the district.


  • July 7, 1950: Mr. Grant McConachie, President of Canadian Pacific Airlines, told a Board of Trade meeting last Sunday that they can expect jet airliners on the Vancouver-Whitehorse run in two and a half years.
  • July 7, 1950: Monday afternoon, military personnel at Ladd Base and Eielson Field at Fairbanks reported a guided missile travelling at a speed of 600 miles per hour towards the Yukon. A check at the Whitehorse Airbase brought no information about the plane. Tuesday afternoon, Danny McKinnon reported to us that he and a friend, Ab Lang had spotted a fish-shaped object flying at great speed at an altitude of 1000 feet between Marsh Lake and McRae. The object was silver color and spurted fire sparks from its tail.
  • July 7, 1950: Yukon Brewing Company is offering a $50 prize for the best name for a beer.

  • July 14, 1950: Dan Grant was found dead from a bullet wound last Monday morning in the attic of Billy Biggs' blacksmith shop in Dawson, which he had just purchased. Dan is a brother to Chris Grant, an Income Collector for the Yukon.
  • July 14, 1950: The three Canadian destroyers which left Esquimalt last week have been ordered to the Korean front. Although they are not taking part in the war the destroyers will be used for U.N. police action in that area. This is the first admission that Canada was assisting in any way on the Korean front.
  • July 14, 1950: An editorial about racial discrimination begins: "The controversy over whether Indians should be allowed to use the new Civic Centre or not is one of great importance, and could be one of great danger to the success of the drive for funds."

  • July 21, 1950: Due to the shortage of help this week our paper arrived in the Post Office too late for Friday distribution. Owing to the large demand for papers many residents find they are unable to purchase papers after Friday. We are running the plant at capacity but hope soon to have better equipment to facilitate the demand.
  • July 21, 1950: Three helicopters recently were flown from Oshawa, Ont. to Whitehorse in a Curtiss Commando staffed by the famous Flying Tiger organization. Serviced by Weston Aircraft and owned by Kenting Aviation, the helicopters were transported to the Yukon for summer flying assignments. This is the first time three helicopters have been loaded into a C-46, an operation that requires some juggling. There are four helicopters around Yukon. One in Atlin, one on the Highway west of Whitehorse, two at Mayo.
  • July 21, 1950: An editorial laments the lack of local publicity items for tourists, most of whom are professional and business people. "A cleverly designed insignia of Whitehorse would do much good in publicizing this city to the rest of the world, something that would be given free as a welcome to visitors upon their arrival in the city. The most important business man will ignore commercialized publicity but will allow his luggage to be plastered with stickers from various steamship and rail companies and resort hotels."

  • July 28, 1950: A serious accident at mile 999 on the Alaska Highway last Sunday sent 7 people to the hospital. A head-on collision between an automobile and a tanker truck very nearly brought death to the drivers. Dust was blamed for the obstruction fat both drivers.
  • July 28, 1950: Coming Soon - Comics in the Star. Yes, we have contracted for a comic strip to be run in the Star. Starting soon we will bring the happenings of Myrtle and her dog Bingo to the readers of the Star.
  • July 28, 1950: Thousands attended the funeral of Mackenzie King in Ottawa.


  • August 4, 1950: Whitehorse elects its first mayor and council on July 31. Gordon Armstrong is the first Mayor and William G. Hamilton, Sam McClimon, George Ryder and James Norrington are the first city councillors. See Whitehorse Mayors and Aldermen / Councillors, past & present.
  • August 4, 1950: Bud Holbook of Dawson and Superintendant for Yukon Gold Placer Mines at Thistle Creek was instantly killed last Friday when his plane, purchased about a year ago, crashed between Thistle Creek and Dawson. He was accompanied by another Dawson man, who had both legs broken in the crash.

  • August 11, 1950: Royal Canadian Mounted Police will replace British Columbia's Provincial Police starting August 25th. This will mark the end of service for the oldest territorial police force in Canada.
  • August 11, 1950: Major Walker Kayes was critically injured in a shooting affray in Army Headquarters on August 8th. Cpl. W. B. Armstrong purchased a 30-30 rifle from a downtown store and upon entering Major Kayes' office, fired from close range. The bullet passed through the Major's hand and entered his chest below the heart. The Corporal had been court-martialed recently and severely reprimanded by Major Kayes.

  • August 18, 1950: The first car to make the round trip from Vancouver to Mayo and return left on Aug 14 on its return journey. Mr. Mel Webber, genial representative of the Mutual Life Insurance Co., made his visit to this territory this year by car, driving direct from Vancouver.

  • August 25, 1950: A.H. Gibson is appointed as Yukon's Commissioner. His office is in Dawson City.


  • September 1, 1950: Word has recently been received from the B.C. Indian Arts and Welfare Society that at the Art Exhibit recently held at Victoria, the Whitehorse Indian School took several top prizes. Although thirteen schools entered the competition with several hundred entries, the local school delighted all who saw their handicraft and art work.
  • September 1, 1950: Sixty persons from Whitehorse joined with fifty from Skagway and three from Carcross for a very enjoyable two day excursion trip to Ben-My-Chree on the steamer Tutshi last weekend.

  • September 22, 1950: The first meeting of the Parent Teachers' Association elects the following officers: Honorary President, Laurie Todd; President, Fred Locke; 1st Vice-President, Mrs. Jean Phelps; 2nd Vice-President, Mrs. Florence MacDonald; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. A. J. Barnett; Membership Convener, Mrs. Audrey Morse; Publicity Convener, Mrs. E. I. Hannington.


  • October 6, 1950: At the business meeting of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary, the following officers are elected: President, Mrs. 0. Tingle: lst Vice-President, Mrs. J. Warren: 2nd Vice-President, Mrs. A. Borland: Secretary, Mrs. C. Morrison: Treasurer; Mrs. E. Gaye.
  • October 6, 1950: A rich asbestos deposit is discovered by Victor Sittler and John Bartle 280 miles from Whitehorse. Short time later (October 20, 1950), the Asbestos mine is purchased by Con West Interests Purchase Asbestos.

  • October 20, 1950: The Rifle Club elects the following officers: President, C. North; Vice-President, Frank Mikusch; Secretary, A. Friend; Treasurer, A. Savage; Chief Instructor, 0. Rollag; Range Supervisor, C. Gilbert; Publicity, G.I. Cameron.
  • October 20, 1950: The Young People's Association holds its sixth annual meeting in their recreation hall. Jamie Mutch is elected President; Vice-President, Bucky Keobke; Secretary, Pat Armstrong; Treasurer, Marg Graham. The executive of seven includes Red Skeleton, Joanne Keobke and Vimy Yeulet.

  • October 27, 1950: Whitehorse welcomes a branch of the Bank of Montreal with offices in the Whitehorse Inn.


  • November 3, 1950: The Yukon Fish and Game Association captures 6 Buffalos in Alaska and brings them into the Yukon to provide ample food for Indians in future years.
  • November 3, 1950: The last link of the highway connecting Whitehorse with Mayo is completed.

  • November 19, 1950: The Yukon Brewery Holding Co. Ltd. purchases the Lake of the Woods Brewery of Kenora, Ontario.
  • November 19, 1950: Fred Arnot outlines to the Board of Trade plans for a museum for Whitehorse.


  • December 1, 1950: The City Council considers a plan to have all houses in the city limits numbered for better identification.

  • December 15, 1950: The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks installs new officers: Exalted Ruler, W. Williamson; I.P. Exalted Ruler, W. Hancock; Leading Lnight, L. Scown; Loyal Knight, Vic Chapman; Lecturing Knight, Leo Lortie; Secretary, M. Lawrence; R. Gordon Lee; Second Vice-President, Henry Besner; Secretary-Treasurer, Albert Coy.

  • December 22, 1950: Alderman George Ryder dies December 15, 1950. (see also March 2, 1951)



  • January 5, 1951: The Federal government awards contracts for the construction of 50 army duplex homes in Whitehorse.
  • January 5, 1951: The University of Alaska announces that all students from the Yukon Territory are exempt from payment of non-resident tuition fees.

  • January 19, 1951: The Whitehorse Branch of the Canadian Legion elects new officers: President, R.C. Watson; First Vice-President, D.W. Davis; Second Vice-President, G. Hoyem; Secretary-Treasurer, A.M. Borland. Members elected to the executive are: Mrs. J. Warren, J. Macdonald, M. Wilson, Sergeant-at-Arms, W. Smoler, Trustees: R.G. Lee, W.M. Emery, E. L. Gay.


  • February 2, 1951: Passing a complete traffic by-law, the city council bans u-turns on Main Street and First Avenue.
  • February 2, 1951: Wing Commander J. Sutherland bid farewell to Whitehorse to-day as he boarded a plane enroute to take over his new duties as Director of Intelligence for the RCAF at Ottawa.

  • February 9, 1951: A vast radar screen under United States-Canadian supervision is constructed in the Yukon for protection against Russian air raids and surprise attacks.

  • February 16, 1951: E.M. Lawrence of Iowa wins the Yukon Brewery Name Contest for suggesting the name "Arctic" for Yukon Beer to be brewed in Whitehorse.
  • February 16, 1951: The City Council decides to narrow First Avenue from 100 ft. to 80 ft. rather than move buildings that are jutting out.

  • February 23, 1951: Yukeno Mines, Ltd. becomes the owner of the second largest acreage under one company in the Keno Hill silver-lead-zinc camp.


  • March 2, 1951: Ernest Lortie is elected Alderman to fill the vacancy caused by Alderman George Ryder's death. (see also December 22, 1951)

  • March 12, 1951: The federal government officially announces that the Territorial Government will move from Dawson City to Whitehorse. The Whitehorse Star issues a special edition.

  • March 22, 1951: The U.S. is now in favour of the construction of a highway between Skagway and Whitehorse.
  • March 22, 1951: A.S. Barker, owner of Mayo Utilities, the telephone company, installs an automatic exchange in Whitehorse.

  • March 30, 1951: W. L. Phelps, K.C., dies on March 27 at the age of 83. Mr. Phelps has been a resident of Whitehorse since 1900. He was a founder of the Yukon Electrical Company and a member of the first wholly elected Territorial Council.


  • April 13, 1951: An amendment to the Yukon Act passed in the House of Commons put five members, instead of 3, on the Yukon Council.
  • April 13, 1951: Klondike Mike (Michael Mahoney) dies at the age of 74 in Santa Monica, California. Mahoney was one of the great Klondike characters, having carried a piano on his back over the Chilkoot Pass. In 1904, he mushed four hundred miles from Fairbanks to Valdez with the frozen body of Alaskan Judge Hume on his sled. The Hume family had asked Klondike Mike to deliver the body to Seattle for burial.
  • April 13, 1951: An editorial states that The Whitehorse Star "is throwing its full support behind the Council of Skagway" to get the road to Whitehorse built.
  • April 13, 1951: The City Council will gass a licence by-law this month setting the licence fees for every business in Whitehorse. Money must be raised to carry out the improvements needed in our city and taxation is the only available means.


  • May 4, 1951: It is announced that a new Federal Building will be erected on Main Street and 4th Avenue.
  • May 4, 1951: The B.Y.N. expect to launch one or two of their river boats this weekend. Only the Whitehorse, Casca and Aksala will be used this year. The company has taken the smaller boats off the Stewart River owing to the opening of the Mayo Road and the use of trucks to transport the ore.
  • May 4, 1951: This week the RCMP started writing their traffic offenses out on printed traffic tickets. The passing of the many traffic by-laws of the city have added a lot of extra work for the police so they are using a new system of numbered traffic tickets.

  • May 11, 1951: Henry Meirs was arraigned on a murder charge at the preliminary hearing held in Whitehorse Tuesday. His wife Anne was found dead at the side of the road on Black St. Mr. Meirs is being held without bail.
  • May 11, 1951: Kai Gertsen and Jennie Monk, both of Whitehorse, won the Dawson Ice Guessing Contest on Tuesday. The two held tickets marked for the ice break-up to occur at 11:03 a.m. Official time was recorded at 11:06 a.m. They will split the $3,500 prize money.
  • May 11, 1951: Parents are warned that the Short Hill is in a very dangerous condition due to water seepage and children should be kept away. Authorities are afraid that a slide may occur burying or injuring children playing in that vicinity.

  • May 25, 1951: The Yukon's first cocktail lounge opens at the Regina Hotel on May 24th. (see also June 2, 1950)


  • June 1, 1951: The '98 Hotel opens its new modern cocktail lounge with an open house for Whitehorse business people.

  • June 8, 1951: The Alaska Road Commission has ordered a preliminary survey of the proposed road between Skagway and Whitehorse, starting with an aerial survey.

  • June 15, 1951: The annual meeting of the Whitehorse Teachers Association elects new officers: President, Mr. F. Locke; Vice-President, Mrs. Y. Wilson: Secretary, Mrs. Barnett; Treasurer, George Aylwin. Conveners of standing committees are: Social, Mrs. Charlie Taylor, Programme, Mrs. McLean; Membership, Mrs. Laurie Todd; Ways and Means, Jim Norrington, Publicity, Miss. R. Erickson.
  • June 15, 1951: Bob Harrison is elected president of the recently formed Junior Chamber of Commerce.


  • July 6, 1951: Believed to be the first soldier to return to the Yukon from Korea, Corporal G. N. Kjar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Them Kjar of Whitehorse, is home on leave. Corporal Kjar was one of the first to land in Korea last June with the 24th Division U.S. Army. He trained at Houston, Texas, before going to Japan where he spent 1 year.
  • July 6, 1951: A branch of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind is formed in Whitehorse. Elected of office of the Whitehorse Branch are: Honorary Chairman, Mr. Justice Gibben: Chairman, William Hamilton: Vice Chairman, Stuart MacPherson: Treasurer, Art Jones: Secretary, Mrs. Gordon Dickson.
  • July 6, 1951: Garskie Gold Mines has optioned the Laforma Mine, with plans to bring this high-grade gold property into production. The mine is located 154 miles by truck road from Whitehorse, on Mount Freegold in the Carmacks area.

  • July 13, 1951: City Clerk Percy Hewitt has prepared a brief for the consideration of the City Council to approach the Federal Government to install a sewer and water system in Whitehorse. The idea originated when Mr. Hewitt heard that Yellowknife had such a system installed by the Federal Government.
  • July 13, 1951: A head-on collision between 2 cars from Whitehorse injured 8 people at McCrae last Tuesday. Heavy dust is believed to have obscured the vision of the drivers, Ralph James and Edward Stevens.

  • July 20, 1951: Keeping in stride with the growth of Whitehorse, the "Star”"comes to you in a new form this week. The rapid growth of our circulation and demands for advertising space have made it necessary for us to secure a newspaper press. This new press along with the rest of our plant, has been installed in another building.
  • July 20, 1951: A flash fire in the building housing the Northwest Highway System radio station and Rec Hall, gutted the Rec Hall and extensively damaged the radio station.
  • July 20, 1951: Many tourists approaching the Two Mile Hill on the highway look with delight at the recently oiled roads leading to the Army housing area and think they are entering Whitehorse. Reports from the area are that there have been an increased number of tourist cars driving around the new homes looking for the Whitehorse Inn and the beverage rooms. Just shows what a little bit of oil or hardtop will do to attract tourists into town.
  • July 20, 1951: Indian Girl Saved From Drowning. Jean Henry of Whitehorse very nearly lost her life whle swimming in a slough in the Standard Oil Area last Tuesday. Prompt action of Jerry Fromme saved the girl's life when he dragged her from the water.

  • July 27, 1951: Hope of finding any of the passengers or crew alive in mysterious disappearance of a Canadian Pacific Airliner, with 38 persons aboard and missing since Saturday, is fading as the search enters its sixth day. The airliner disappeared last Saturday on the North Pacific Coast after making a routine radio check at Cape Spencer near Skagway at 1.20 a.m.
  • July 27, 1951: The well supplying water service to homes and business houses south of Main Street near Front Street, and to the General Hospital, has been condemned. Contamination from the river prompted Federal Health officials to declare the water polluted. A chlorination attachment is said to be unsuitable for the amount of water pumped through to the reservoir tank.
  • July 27, 1951: Conwest Explorations has created a new company to develop asbestos property they acquired last October. The Cassiar Asbestos Corporation has 25 claims, located 95 miles south of the Alaska Highway in the McDame Lake area of B.C.
  • July 27, 1951: The Whitehorse College of Commerce, located in the Brunley Building on Main Street, is offering day and night classes all summer.


  • August 3, 1951: The initial aerial survey of a road from Skagway suggests that two routes are possible - via the White Pass, or Warm Pass. An editorial blasts the Territorial Government for doing nothing to support the road.

  • August 10, 1951: George Black is sworn in as a member of the King's Privy Council. Black was named to the Privy Council in December 1949, but Black's absence from Ottawa did not allow an earlier swearing in ceremony.


  • September 7, 1951: The Capital Hotel opens for business with the completion of the interior of their building at 103 Main Street.
  • September 7, 1951: Commissioner Gibson is reported to have ordered the reduction in tolls on cordwood hauled over the Mayo Road to 75 cents per ton, truck not to be included.
  • September 7, 1951: The new addition to the Whitehorse General hospital, scheduled to be finished this fall, is rapidly nearing completion. Estimated to cost close to $25,000 the new addition will add a private women's ward, enlarged X-ray department and a larger maternity word complete with case rooms.
  • September 7, 1951: A severe wood shortage is feared in Whitehorse this winter unless more woodcutters return to their jobs to bring the precious fuel in. Heavy tolls on the Mayo road stopped several woodcutters early this month, then the construction companies are taking a number of men. Wood cut to date is around 1200 cords compared to 5000 cords last year.

  • September 14, 1951: Amos Burg, a National Geographic writer and photographer, shoots Miles Canyon and Whitehorse Rapids with Yukoner Bill MacBride. A year earlier, Captain Guild of the US Army ran the rapids in a rubber raft.
  • September 14, 1951: United Keno Hill has followed up its ore disclosures on the 525 ft. level of the Hector Mine by encountering the important No 3 vein in its crosscut on the bottom 650 ft. level. This is the deepest underground work in the camp. The mill is currently treating about 240 tons per day.
  • September 14, 1951: A charter was presented to the newly formed Lions Club. Officers of the Lions Club are: President: Robert Campbell: First Vice-President, Leo Lortie, Second Vice-President, Dr. W. E. Doupe: Third Vice-President, Lawrence Seely: Secretary, David Porter: Treasurer, H. E. Boyd: Lion Tamer, Owen Williams: Tail Twister, Harry Johannes. Directors are: Odin Hougen, Matthew Nelson, and Gordon Tubman.

  • September 21, 1951: Construction of the Taku River highway between Juneau and Atlin is approved unanimously by the Associated Boards of Trade of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.
  • September 21, 1951: Them Kjar, Director of Publicity and Game Department for the Yukon, stated this week that they were successful in bringing in 5 Buffalo from Big Delta, Alaska and releasing them to roam the Yukon country, on the old Dawson Trail near Braeburn. Also see September 28.
  • September 21, 1951: What could be the wreckage of the missing Canadian Pacific Airlines Korean airlift plane which vanished July 21 with 38 aboard, has been spotted on a mountainside in the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.
  • September 21, 1951: A head on collision between an Army truck and a Watson Lake taxi killed the taxi driver and sent the other 2 occupants to the hospital in Whitehorse in poor condition. Killed was Ivan McDevitt, 27, operator of the Watson Lake Hotel and Taxi. McDevitt was blinded by dust and did not see the 10-ton Army vehicle approaching.

  • September 28, 1951: Whitehorse City Council granted Mayo Utilities a 20-year franchise at the last Council meeting on Tuesday evening. There is provision in the franchise for the purchase of the company by the city.
  • September 28, 1951: Among the crime reports, a gang of young boys ranging in age from 10 to 14 and dressed in robes wearing hoods with eye slits cut in them are reported to have attacked three citizens in downtown Whitehorse within the past two weeks. The headline reads "Hooded Gang Frightening Residents; Young Fry Organize Klu Klux Klan".


  • October 19, 1951: The Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club elected the following people at their annual meeting: President, G. I. Cameron; Vice-President, Don Hall: Secretary, Jessie Robertson: Treasurer, Charles Gilbert; Chief Instructor, Ole Rollag; Range Supervisor, A. J. Shorty; Social Convener, Joyce Perry; Publicity, Rolf Hougen.


  • November 16, 1951: The Whitehorse Merchants Hockey Club elect their new executive. President, T.C. Richards; Vice-President, Pete Petiot; Secretary-Treasurer, Rolf Hougen. Other executive members are Ernie Lortie, Al Wise, William Hamilton, and George Aylwin.
  • November 16, 1951: Mr. Fred Fraser, newly appointed Commissioner for the Yukon, arrived in Whitehorse. He was appointed Commissioner early in October, succeeding A. H. Gibson who was appointed Police Magistrate at Dawson City.

  • November 23, 1951: A fire in the electric light plant house of the Yukon Coal Co. in Carmacks on November 15th totally destroyed the plant and shed. Cause of the fire has not been ascertained but is believed to have been a short circuit. As this plant was used to charge the batteries in the miner's lamps the mine is closed down until a new plant can be obtained.
  • November 23, 1951: Mr. J. W. Israel, Coffee Bar of Minto moved into new quarters at McCabe Creek, 5 miles south of the former location, November 12th, and is now open for business right on the Whitehorse-Mayo Highway, 41 miles north of Carmacks. Minto, with a population of about 200 whites two short years ago when the Fred Manix Co. had a base there, is now completely deserted, the nearest habitation being that of the R.C.M.P. on the highway half a mile north of Minto.
  • November 23, 1951: A joint meeting was held last Monday evening with the new Territorial Commissioner, Mr. Fred Fraser, members of the City Council and the executive of the Board of Trade. Commissioner Fraser discussed pertinent items such as Territorial help towards completing the Civic Centre. A possible extra liquor tax was discussed giving the Centre a 50% cut, with 25% to the hospital and 25% toward relief. They also discussed passing some school costs to the City, lowering coal costs (the new schol and Federal building will use over 1,000 tons per year), and replacing ferries on the Mayo road with bridges.


  • December 3, 1951: The Yukon Ski Club elects the following officers: President, Mr. A. Yeulet, Vice President, James Mutch, Secretary, Miss. D. Fleming, Treasurer, Miss. G. Fick, Publicity Manager, C. Skeleton.

  • December 21, 1951: A mother and her 6-year-old daughter from Whitehorse are among the 11 people missing in a fire which swept the 650-foot Danish motorship "Erria" in the mouth of the Columbia River today. Missing is Mrs. Kathleen Brunlees and her daughter, Elizabeth. The vessel was anchored when the fire broke out at about 2 a.m., and more than 100 people took to lifeboats.



  • January 18, 1952: Gordon Armstrong is re-elected Mayor of Whitehorse by acclamation. He takes office April 1st. Aldermen elected on January 25 are William Drury, William Hamilton, James Norrington and Thomas Bain. The Council is sworn in by Commissioner Fred Fraser January 31.

  • January 25, 1952: The King approved the appointment of Vincent Massey as the first Canadian Governor General of Canada. He succeeded Field Marshall Viscount Alexander of Tunis.
  • January 25, 1952: A real life drama that reads like a story plot and nearly ended in tragedy was lived on the Atlin Highway last weekend. Among those who barely survived was Dr. Murray G. Williams of Whitehorse. See Challenging the Atlin Road in a blizzard.


  • February 1, 1952: Gilbert Skelly died this week at the Whitehorse General Hospital at the age of 78. He came into the Yukon in 1898, settling in Dawson City, where he prospected, then lived in Whitehorse for some time before moving to Carcross. Road building occupied a number of years of his life and it is said that in company With the late Sam McGee he pioneered the road between Whitehorse and Kluane Lake.
  • February 1, 1952: A fire of undetermined origin destroyed the McRae home of Roy Kilburn and damaged the cafe next door last Sunday morning. The Army fire department responded to the call and sent a truck and 5 men to fight the blaze. Their prompt action is believed responsible for saving the cafe building. Over 500 gallons of water were poured on the flames in 20 below zero weather.
  • February 1, 1952: The Kiwanis Club elected the following 1952 officers: President - Keith Johnson; Vice President - J. Hanna; Treasurer - A. Mackay; Secretary - D. Busby; Board of Directors - A. Jones, G. Lines, Wm. Stewart, F. Arnot, J. Gentleman, O. Tingle, and D. White.

  • February 8, 1952: King George VI dies in his sleep February 6th at Sandringham, the Royal Estate in Norfolk where he was born fifty-six years ago. Princess Elizabeth is proclaimed Queen.
  • February 8, 1952: Florence Mary Goldsmith of Keno City landed in jail last Saturday after she was involved in a knife slashing incident there. Two men, victims of knife wounds, were hospitalized at Mayo after the scuffle.

  • February 15, 1952: The annual meeting of the I.O.D.E. elects the following officers: Honorary Regent - Mrs. George Black; Immediate Past Regent - Mrs. L. H. Dennison; Regent - Mrs. H. Seaholm; 1st Vice Regent - Mrs. S. J. McClimon; 2nd Vice Regent - Mrs. L. H. Dennison; Secretary - Mrs. A. McGregor; Treasurer - Mrs. A. McKay; Echoes Secretary - Mrs. O.Tingle; Standard Bearer - Mrs. A. M. Borland.

  • February 22, 1952: Thomas Dickson dies at the Whitehorse General Hospital at the age of 96. Arriving in the Yukon in 1898 with a force of 200 Northwest Mounted Police, the first to patrol the Yukon, Thomas Dickson was stationed at Tagish. He went on to become a big game guide, a career he continued until ill health forced him into retirement in January of 1949 when he entered the hospital.
  • February 22, 1952: It is announced that a branch of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets will be organized in Whitehorse and sponsored by the Lions Club.
  • February 22, 1952: RCMP officers flew from Prince George to the Dease River area, where the body of trapper Phillip Hankin, 73, was found in a trapline cabin last Friday. He and all of his dogs had been shot, about a month ago, they believe.


  • March 21, 1952: The '98 Hotel owned by Harold Dennison, Bob Swanson and Bill Lunde changes hands. The new owner is Henning Madsen of Yellowknife.

  • March 28, 1952: The Civic Centre Association elected the following: President, Arthur E. Yeulet; Vice President, James Hanna; Treasurer, Dave Porter. Ron Greenslade is the retiring President.


  • April 18, 1952: Brigadier H.W. Love, Canadian Army Commander of the Northwest Highway System, said that as the Alaska Highway reached its 10th anniversary this month it has become, "one of the best gravel roads in the world."


  • May 9, 1952: The Whitehorse Board of Trade elects the following officers for 1952: President - James Smith; Vice President - Rolf Hougen; Secretary - Robert Rowan; Treasurer - Arthur McKay; Executive Officers are George Van Roggen, Mat Nelson, Gordon Lee, Ernie Theed, Arthur Jones, Howard Braden, Bill MacBride and Bob Cousins.

  • May 16, 1952: "Bowling Alley Sold To Hougen's Ltd. The Whitehorse Bowling Alley was sold this week to Hougen's Ltd. According to Mr. Ralph Hougen, the firm purchased the alley to expand their present store. The alleys will be removed, leaving Whitehorse without a bowling alley."
  • May 16, 1952: City Council refused the request of the Whitehorse Athletic Club to move from its present location above Pinchins Store to the home of Kai Gertsen on Second Avenue at Strickland. The club said the high rent at the current location made the move necessary, but neighbours and council members felt that being in a residential area was inappropriate.
  • May 16, 1952: "Gaming Club Closed After Police Raid. The Whitehorse Athletic Club was closed and fixtures and equipment seized by police after a raid on the premises, early last Sunday morning. Twenty patrons were surprised when police walked in. Cards, money etc, were all seized. They were charged with keeping a Common Gaming House."
  • May 16, 1952: Officers elected by the Whitehorse Lions Club are as follows: Past President, Bob Campbell; President, Harold McDonald; Secretary, Odin Hougen; Treasurer, Bert Boyd; 1st Vice President, Leo Lortie; 2nd Vice President, Lawrence Seely; 3rd Vice President, Dick Carswell; Lion Tamer, Owen Williams; Tail Twister, Vic Chapman; Directors: Bill Gordon, Gordon Tubman, Ernie Theed, Matt Nelson.

  • May 23, 1952: Young People's Association Sports Day. Yvonne Russell, Janet Bottomley, Sylvia Williams are Queen candidates. Yvonne Russell is elected Queen of the Y.P.A. Sports Day.

  • May 30, 1952: The Junior Chamber of Commerce elects the following officers for the coming year: President, Mr. Charlie Blishen; Vice President, Burnie Moore; Secretary, Ron Sauder; Treasurer, Eric Small.


  • June 13, 1952: Gordon Armstrong and T.C. Richards buy into Atlin mineral claims.

  • June 20, 1952: The President of the W.D. MacBride Museum states that the Museum has been redecorated and that exhibits are being placed therein and will soon be open to the public.
  • June 20, 1952: After four years of construction, the Donjek Bridge is officially opened June 15th. It is the most northerly bridge to be built by the Canadian Army.


  • July 4, 1952: Yellow Cabs is starting a city bus service on July 7. The bus will serve Upper Whitehorse, RCAF areas, airport and D.O.T. houses. Stops will eventually operate throughout the city.
  • July 4, 1952: Work on construction of the Dawson Road starts.

  • July 11, 1952: Tourists Services opens an ultra-modern cocktail bar on July 9th. Tourists Services Ltd. have quickly expanded their business ventures in Whitehorse the last couple of years, providing the only tourist camp and trailer facilities in the city. The company has continually tried to cater to the general public, offering services in all branches of their operation. Cal Miller is Manager of the cocktail bar.

  • July 18, 1952: The Hougen's Store is gutted by fire. The building had to be partially pulled down and rebuilt.
  • July 18, 1952: A new drug store was to be opened in the former quarters of the College of Commerce on Main Street, next to the Capital Hotel.
  • July 18, 1952: Magistrate A.H. Gibson, former Commissioner of the Yukon, takes over the Magistrate position formerly held by J. Kerr.
  • July 18, 1952: The Federal Government confirms that Indians do not have the privilege of voting in the Territorial Election.


  • August 15, 1952: The Whitehorse High School is officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the main entrance of the school. The school was acclaimed on a par with new schools being opened in larger cities. The building was constructed by Marwell Construction Co. Ltd., using subcontractors in Whitehorse.

  • August 22, 1952: The Territorial Council for the coming term will be as follows: A.R. Hayes, Carmacks; Alex Berry, Mayo; James Mellor, Dawson; John Phelps, Whitehorse; Fred Locke, Whitehorse.


  • September 12, 1952: The City Council voted to take over the assets of the existing Civic Center Association. It is expected that a committee will be appointed by the city to manage the project.
  • September 12, 1952: The Yukon Mining Company Ltd. elects four Whitehorse men at their annual meeting. They are as follows: Mr. Harold Koffman, Mr. A.J.H. Litzengberger, Mr. Albert Koffman, and Mr. Erik Nielsen.
  • September 12, 1952: A meeting between the new officials of the Yukon Brewery Company and city officials reveals the possibility of the brewery building a million and a half dollar plant in Whitehorse in the next year.
  • September 12, 1952: The sidewalk from Steele Street to the school on Fourth Avenue is paved.
  • September 12, 1952: The City of Whitehorse signs a 20 year exclusive franchise with the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd.

  • September 19, 1952: The Board of Trade set October 27 to November 1 as radio week in Whitehorse. Goal is to raise money for the radio station.
  • September 26, 1952: The Whitehorse Inn opens one of Canada's most modern cocktail lounges. They call it the Rainbow Cocktail Lounge. All equipment and decor were of the latest, modern in every respect.

  • September 26, 1952: The Whitehorse Star is available in Mayo and Keno.


  • October 17, 1952: Chapman's Shoe Store moves their present store from Main Street near Fourth Avenue to Fourth and Wood Street.
  • October 17, 1952: A group of citizens organize the S.P.C.A. in Whitehorse to establish an animal care facility in the city.

  • October 24, 1952: On October 10th, the Whitehorse Rifle and Pistol Club elected the following officers for the year: President, re-elected Mr. G. I. Cameron; Vice President, "Kit" Squirechuk; Secretary, Charlie Rosenberg; Treasurer, Ione Cameron.
  • October 24, 1952: Harold Koffman was elected president by acclamation of the Whitehorse Liberal Association on October 21st.
  • October 31, 1952: An Order-in-Council, passed by the Government of Canada on May 14th, created the "Eagle Plain and Peel Plateau Reservation".


  • November 14, 1952: Mr. W.G. Brown, former Administrator for the Northwest Territories, has been appointed as Commissioner for the Yukon replacing Fred Fraser.
  • November 14, 1952: G.I. Cameron is appointed Sanitary Inspector of the Yukon.
  • November 14, 1952: The Yukon Ski Runners elect the following officers for the coming year: President, Odin Hougen; Vice-President, Emie Viegel; Secretary, Barbara Mamen; Treasurer, Maisie Stegelman.

  • November 21, 1952: The newly-formed Humane Society elected the following officers for the coming year on November 10th: President, Mrs. B. Craig; First Vice-President, Jean Mutch; Second Vice-President, R. J. Friend; Treasurer - Mrs. G. Dickson; Secretary - Mrs. Wilson.
  • November 21, 1952: Mr. Bert Boyd, President of the Whitehorse Curling Club, announces that, except for the installation of the lights in the clubroom, this year's work on the new curling club is completed. A caretaker was hired and flooding operations on the rink have started.

  • November 28, 1952: The B.C.-Yukon chamber of Mines held their annual meeting. Forty members were present. President, Mr. Gordon Lee; First Vice-President, Gordon Dickson; Second Vice-President, Pete Versluce; Secretary-Treasurer, A.K. Farley.
  • November 28, 1952: The Morley River Lodge and Filling Station, at Mile 777, Alaska Highway, was destroyed by fire on November 27th. Clyde Wann owned the lodge and it was partially covered by insurance.


  • December 12, 1952: Because stranded motorists run the risk of freezing to death before help arrives, signs ordering "daylight driving only" may be posted for the winter on the new John Hart Highway, which runs 274 miles from Prince George to Dawson Creek, B.C.

  • December 19, 1952: The Whitehorse Lodge B.P.O. Elks, No. 306, hold their annual installation meeting at the Elks Hall and the following officers were elected: Exalted Ruler, Leo Lortie; Immediate Past Exalted Ruler, Frank Mikusch; Leading Knight, Dick Carswell; Loyal Knight, Jack Connelly; Lecturing Knight, Don MacPhail; Esquire, George Webber; Historian, Reg Brynlund; Chaplain, Andy Borland; Inner Guard, Frank Dodsworth.



  • January 16, 1953: The Whitehorse Legion elects officers for 1953: President, Earl Gay; First Vice President, R. Chapman; Second Vice-President, H. Cunningham; Sergeant-at-Arms, Bill Smoller.
  • January 16, 1953: Another new type of business starts in Whitehorse when Mr. and Mrs. Pete Petiot open their self-serve laundry.
  • January 16, 1953: Whitehorse City Council prepares a brief acquainting the Government of the needs of a water and sewer system in Whitehorse.

  • January 23, 1953: An earthquake that shook the town of Mayo on January 18th lasted approximately four minutes. Residents were reported to have received quite a scare from the quake.

  • January 23, 1953: George Murray claims in Parliament that the construction of the Alaska Highway by the Army was full of corruption. Between 1942 and 1945 about 14,000 pieces of equipment worth $10 Million were allegedly stolen.

  • January 30, 1953: 19-year-old Lena Emma Tzya is chosen to represent the Girl Guides of the Yukon at the Coronation ceremonies in England in spring 1954.


  • February 13, 1953: The Junior Chamber of Commerce elect on February 9, 1953 Frank Algar as president after the resignation of Charlie Blishen.

  • February 20, 1953: The Yukon Fish and Game Association elect officers for the coming year: President, Frank Mikusch (replacing Ted Pinchin); Vice-President, Lloyd Dunbar; Secretary, Rolf Hougen; Treasurer, Charlie Rosenberg.

  • February 27, 1953: The new Whitehorse Civic Centre officially opens February 18, 1953. In later years, it will be called the Jim Light Arena. The first ticket is purchased by Mayor Gordon Armstrong.
  • February 27, 1953: Simpsons-Sears Ltd. opens a mail order store in Whitehorse on Main Street near Second Avenue. The store is under the management of Mr. and Mrs. V.A. Chapman.
  • February 27, 1953: National Housing loans are now available for the Yukon.


  • March 13, 1953: The Whitehorse Inn opens an ultramodern restaurant that is declared the finest in Canada's North, one that Yukoners can be proud of.
  • March 13, 1953: Thayer Lindsey, President of Ventures Ltd., told company shareholders in Toronto about his biggest venture: a hydroelectric power development in the Yukon. It would cost two billion dollars and develop as much as five million horsepower to run a great new metallurgical development in the Canadian Northwest. Known as the Frobisher Project, it would flood vast tracts of the Yukon including Whitehorse.
  • March 13, 1953: At the annual meeting of the Yukon Historical Society, the following directorate was named: Patrons, Captain and Mrs. George Black; Honorary President, Honourable J. Aubrey Simmons, M.P.; President, W. D. MacBride; Vice-President, Mrs. Jas Porter; Secretary-Treasurer, C.A. Morrison; Executive, Mrs. E. Steeves and J. J. Elliott.

  • March 27, 1953: On March 19th, a fire damaged the plant and stock of the Dawson News. Publisher W. Samuelson advised the Star he would be back in business in two weeks.
  • March 27, 1953: The administration of the Yukon Territorial Government completes its move from Dawson to Whitehorse. Temporary offices were set up in one of the old school buildings at the north end of Third Avenue.


  • April 3, 1953: CFWH returns to air next week. When the American Armed Forces radio programs were stopped, action was initiated to obtain CBC programs to supplement locally produced programs. On April 5 or 6th, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation programs will be available for the first time to Whitehorse listeners. CFWH remains a volunteer station.

  • April 10, 1953: Whitehorse officially becomes the Capital of the Yukon. The first meeting of the Territorial Council is held in Whitehorse on April 8 in the courtrooms over the post office. Members from Dawson, Mayo, and Carmacks are in Whitehorse to attend the meeting.

  • April 24, 1953: A week prior, Mr. and Mrs. Richard White, proprietors of the Capital Hotel, opened ten new rooms on the second floor of their hotel.


  • May 8, 1953: The Whitehorse Board of Trade elects the following officers: President, James Smith; Vice-President, Rolf Hougen; Secretary, R. J. Rowan; Treasurer, Arthur Jones.

  • May 15, 1953: Monsieur Francois de Laboulaye, French Embassy Consular, was entertained at a luncheon Monday by the Territorial Government, City of Whitehorse, and the Board of Trade. Monsieur Laboulaye is making a tour of Western Canada to get acquainted with the people of the West and to tell the people what France is doing in the international field.
  • May 15, 1953: Fire destroys Cole Brothers garage at Keno. In a matter of minutes the whole group of buildings was ablaze, and so hot that nothing was saved. Approximately $75,000 of damage was done. The diesel electric light plant also caught fire. As a result Keno will be without light or power until they can repair the plant.
  • May 15, 1953: White Pass & Yukon Route announce that lots on Seventh and Eighth Avenue will go on sale.
  • May 15, 1953: Alex van Bibber announces his Annual Champagne Rodeo for June 2, 1953.

  • May 22, 1953: A Masonic Lodge is opened in Mayo on May 18, 1853.

  • May 29, 1953: Schools are closed as a precautionary measure to combat the spread of polio in Whitehorse.


  • June 12, 1953: Dawson is without ferry service until a smaller substitute ferry arrives with considerable delay.
  • June 12, 1953: The paddlewheeler Tutshi makes its first trip of the season from Carcross to Ben My Chree.

  • June 26, 1953: The first cocktail lounge opens in Mayo on June 22nd when the Chateau Mayo opened the doors and revealed a new modern lounge. The Chateau Mayo was purchased from Barker-Ray interests by Joseph Alexander Work and Dale Robertson early this year.
  • June 26, 1953: The Strawberry Festival in Haines is cancelled due to the high number of polio cases.
  • June 26, 1953: A rich source of uranium is discovered in Atlin. A road leading to the place of the uranium discovery is started by Conwest Exploration Co. on July 24th.


  • July 3, 1953: J. Aubrey Simmons is the candidate for the Liberal for the upcoming federal elections. George Black is nominated by the Progressive-Conservative Party.

  • July 10, 1953: The Social Credit Party of the Yukon nominates Gordon Lee for the upcoming federal elections.
  • July 10, 1953: The Hotel and Restaurant Bartenders Union, Local 740 held their First Annual Picnic at the Robinson roadhouse on June 28. It turned out to be a greater attraction than was expected - at least 500 people came out.

  • July 31, 1953: On July 26th at 5 a.m., thousands of tons of sand crash down from the escarpment at the west end of Main Street. No injuries are reported, but the area is declared a "danger zone". All residents in the danger zone were told to evacuate their homes and seek temporary shelter elsewhere at the expense of the city.
  • July 31, 1953: A land search party composed of personnel from RCAF Station Whitehorse has just returned from the scene of the crash of a Mitchell bomber of 418 City of Edmonton Squadron. This aircraft disappeared on a training flight in July 1952. The wreckage was finally discovered by two prospectors in the Mayo area, on a mountain side well above the operating height of a helicopter, making recovery and investigation difficult.


  • August 14, 1953: Aubrey Simmons (Liberal Party) wins the Yukon election, defeating Lee (Social Credit) and Black (Progressive Conservative).


  • September 21, 1953: W.M.S. Drury Sr., pioneer merchant, dies at age of 83.

  • September 26, 1953: A fire of undetermined origin destroyed the R.C.A.F. Ski Chalet on September 19th.


  • October 2, 1953: George Black receives from the Secretary of State a medal issued in honour of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth on June 2, 1953.

  • October 9, 1953: The Whitehorse General Hospital Benefit Society raised $4,500 in their recent "Help Furnish the Children's Ward" campaign, and a separate ward at the hospital is now assured.
  • October 9, 1953: The Whitehorse Board of Trade will hold its third "Radio Week" Campaign in aid of CFWH, on November 16-21.
  • October 9, 1953: The Whitehorse Star is moving into the new office building situated on Main Street immediately east of the old office.

  • October 23, 1953: B.C. government assistance in extending and improving a road into the McDame Creek area is making possible the production of chrysotile asbestos from a rich deposit discovered there in 1950. As a result, several million dollars have already been expended by Cassiar Asbestos Corporation in the construction of a mill townsite and development of the mine. Nearly 300 men are employed at the property.
  • October 23, 1953: Personnel of RCAF Station Whitehorse who are occupying Married Quarters have recently elected a Council and Mayor to form a Community Council. Ninety-one percent of those eligible to vote exercised their franchise. The first mayor is Warrant Officer Bob Pfaff. The formation of a Community Council follows the practice already existing on Air Force Stations across the country. This area would later be named Hillcrest.

  • October 30, 1953: Mayo residents petition the Yukon Territorial Council for a new hospital building because of the miserable state of the current building.


  • November 6, 1953: As of November 9, CFWH resumes continuous broadcasting throughout the day.

  • November 27, 1953: Hougen's Ltd. announces the purchase of the building and contents of George L. Meikle, a Whitehorse electrical appliance store. The department will be incorporated into the Hougen's main store and the Meikle Building sold.


  • December 11, 1953: "Grandma" Maggie Boeren dies at the age of 109.
  • December 11, 1953: Mabel A. Simmons, mother of Aubrey Simmons, dies at the age 79.

  • December 18, 1953: Jack Connelly is installed as exalted ruler of Elks Lodge.

  • December 31, 1953: For the first time in the Yukon's history three dimensional movies are shown - in Carcross.



  • January 8, 1954: Gordon Lyons is installed as Kiwanis president for 1954.
  • January 8, 1954: Patsy Henderson, last survivor of the Carmacks party who discovered gold on Bonanza Creek, August 17, 1898, is awarded the Coronation Medal in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth on January 2, 1954.

  • January 15, 1954: The Duke of Edinburgh accepts the invitation of the Whitehorse I.O.D.E. and announces to visit Whitehorse during the summer 1954.
  • January 15, 1954: Whitehorse City Council announces on January 12 that the Old Army Theatre in Downtown Whitehorse is sold to the Baptist Indian Mission School.

  • January 22, 1954: Pan American World Airways inaugurates their super clipper DC6B service to Juneau, Whitehorse and Fairbanks. Don Davis, the local Pan Am manager hosts the travelers.
  • January 29, 1954: Mayor H. Gordon Armstrong is re-elected for his third term as mayor of Whitehorse, with Gordon Cameron, Bill Hamilton, Bill Drury, and Owen Williams as Aldermen.


  • February 12, 1954: Frank Sidney, Chief of the Teslin Indian Band, is presented with the Queen's Coronation Medal on January 28.

  • February 19, 1954: Military, Air, and Naval attaches from over twenty-five different countries visit Whitehorse on an inspection tour of industrial developments.


  • March 5, 1954: The first bonspiel was held at the Whitehorse Curling Club on February 26, with more than forty teams entered.
  • March 5, 1954: The Dawson City Council of Mayor J. Collbourne and Alderman Fred Cook and Pat Callison are sworn to office during the recent visit to Dawson of the Honourable Justice Mr. J. E. Gibben.

  • March 26, 1954: The Whitehorse Meat Market on the corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue was said to be going out of business. Mr. Koffman, the owner, said he was expecting to close the store within a month.
  • March 26, 1954: Mr. H. Samuelson, publisher of the Dawson Weekly News, announces that with the issue of March 25, the Dawson News will cease publication. The reason given was the increased costs and lack of advertising. The Dawson News was first published in 1899 during the Gold Rush Days. With the discontinuance of the Dawson News, the Whitehorse Star starts printing items of interests and happenings in Dawson on April 23.
  • March 26, 1954: Crystal Jorde is elected Ice Carnival Queen 1954.


  • April 2, 1954: It was announced that the cost of the proposed sewer and water installations in Whitehorse to the individual homeowner was to be about $10.00 a month. They expect that the work would be started in the summer with completion by 1955.

  • April 9, 1954: After Martha Black suggested that the Yukon should have a territorial flower, the Yukon Territorial Council adopts the Pasque Flower, commonly known as the Crocus, as the territorial flower of the Yukon. However, shortly later, it is announced that the crocus will not be the territorial flower of the Yukon as it already is the emblem of Manitoba.
  • April 9, 1954: A second shipment of Elk reaches the Yukon with the combined efforts of the Territorial Government and the Yukon Fish and Game Association. They release the animals as before, at Braeburn Lake. The program was started three years ago and was hoped to continue until at least one hundred head had been brought into the Yukon.

  • April 30, 1954: W.D. MacBride is re-elected president of the Yukon Historical Society.


  • May 7, 1954: Ernest Theed was elected President of the Whitehorse Board of Trade at the annual meeting. Rolf Hougen was returned as Vice-President, Art Jones as Treasurer, and Bob Rowan as Secretary.
  • May 7, 1954: T.C. Richards retires as manager of the Whitehorse branch of Burns and Co. Ltd.

  • May 13, 1954: The first official announcement that they would release the Army Engineers of maintenance of the Alaska Highway when public works Minister Winters announces that it would take several months to complete the transfer.
  • May 14, 1954: The new building for the Bank of Montreal is under construction.

  • May 28, 1954: The Whitehorse Junior Chamber of Commerce elects the following at their annual meeting: President, Robert Toth; First Vice-President, Al Prince; Second Vice-President, Archie Sinclair; Secretary, Ernie Delaney; Treasurer, John Stanley.


  • June 4, 1954: City officials are very surprised when they learn that the taxpayers had voted 94 percent in favour of water and sewer.
  • June 4, 1954: The Federal Government will build a new 120-bed hospital in Whitehorse this year providing satisfactory arrangements can be made regarding the financing between the Territorial Government and Ottawa. Plans were also drawn for a new hospital at Mayo.

  • June 11, 1954: The Whitehorse Parent Teachers Association elect the following at their annual meeting: President, Mrs. C.D. Taylor; Vice-President, Mrs. Tom Greenswood; Secretary, Mrs. M. Chadock; Treasurer, Mr. V. Suddaby.
  • June 11, 1954: The whole of the Alaskan-Yukon boundary line, extending for a length of 808.2 miles, is completed.
  • June 11, 1954: The steamer Klondike opens the 1954 navigation season on June 12.


  • July 9, 1954: The Yukon government is considering the adoption of a Coat of Arms, from three prize winning designs submitted by three Yukon School children: Alan McDiarmid, Tommy Nakashima, and Ione Cameron.

  • July 16, 1954: Mr. Odin Hougen, manager of Marsh Lake Lodge, told the Star that his new cocktail lounge would open this week. The lounge was built on the east side of the lodge and extended back into the premises formerly occupied by the beer parlour.


  • August 8, 1954: His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, arrives in Whitehorse. The Duke made stops around Whitehorse visiting with its citizens. They held a reception that same evening in the RCAF Officers Mess where Commissioner and Mrs. W.G. Brown received more than 200 guests. The Duke and his party left the following day for Coppermine in the NWT.

  • August 13, 1954: A new dairy is to open and will be known as the Whitehorse Dairy. The plant is located in the rear of the Pinchin Building. The milk will be bottled for home delivery and in cartons for store sale.


  • September 17, 1954: Plans are revealed to construct for Whitehorse a Sewage Disposal Pumping Station at the North end of the City on Moccasin Flats.

  • September 24, 1954: The sale of the Whitehorse Star is announced by Publisher and Owner Thomas G. Bain to Mr. Harry D. Boyle of Vancouver and Penticton, B.C.

  • September 25, 1954: The annual fishing contest put on by the Yukon Fish and Game Association was officially finished the week before. The winner for the month of June was Johnnie Johns in the Lake Trout Class, with a trout caught at Tagish that weighed more than 40 pounds. Dr. A.C. Tanner won the Rainbow Trout Class, with his fish weighing in at almost three pounds.


  • October 1, 1954: The Whitehorse Lions Club installs the following at their first meeting of the season: President, Lawrence Seeley; First Vice-President, Dick Carswell; Second Vice-President, Dave Porter; Third Vice-President, Percy Bethune; Secretary, Harry Fatt; Treasurer, Bob Hughes.

  • October 8, 1954: A disastrous fire on October 2, 1954: destroys the garage of the British Yukon Navigation Company.
  • October 8, 1954: For the first time in history the export tonnage through Whitehorse exceeds the import tonnage.

  • October 29, 1954: In a simple ceremony on October 23, George Gleave, First Vice-President of the Canadian Legion, unveils the new Whitehorse War Memorial in the front of the new Federal Government building.
  • October 29, 1954: The Federal Government’s proposal for bridging the Yukon River and establishing a town site across the river met with mixed feelings initially in Whitehorse. After consideration most people felt, "Let's Go." The only reservation, and this was almost unanimous, was that no commercial development be allowed across the river for many years to come.


  • November 5, 1954: The Federal Government building in Whitehorse opens its doors to the public. Commissioner W.G. Brown is the master of ceremonies for the opening. The reinforced concrete building contains approximately 56,000 sq. ft. of office space and houses all departments of government in Whitehorse.

  • November 12, 1954: The Whitehorse Post Office moved into new streamlined quarters in the Federal government building. In its new home, the Post Office had 4,000 sq. ft. of floor space, 300 more boxes than in the old office, new equipment and room to expand facilities and service.

  • November 19, 1954: The Elks (B.P.O.E.) at their general meeting elect the following: Exalted Ruler, R.A. (Dick) Carswell; Leading Knight, Don McPhail; Loyal Knight, George Webber; Lecturing Knight, Ray Brown.

  • November 26, 1954: The Yukon Ski Runners elect the following officers: President, C. Skelton; Vice-President, B. Trembath; Secretary, D. Stephenson; Treasurer, M. Robertson.
  • November 26, 1954: Clyde Wann builds the first section of the Beaver Creek Lodge (now Westmark).


  • December 3, 1954: The Yukon Theatre opened its doors at Wood St. and 3rd Ave. The new theatre combines all the modern devices and good design incorporated in many larger theatres in outside centres. Sam McClimon is the owner.
  • December 3, 1954: The construction of Bear Creek Community Curling Club is completed and Bear Creek residents are very proud of this addition to the community. Grant Barrett was the moving force behind this venture.

  • December 10, 1954: The Whitehorse Branch of the Canadian Legion elected the following officers at their general meeting; President; J.E. Grasser; Vice-President; K.A. Rawden; Second Vice-President, R.J. Friend; Treasurer, J.A.C. McKenzie; Secretary, J.E. Turnquist.
  • December 10, 1954: Y.O.O. Pioneers celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of their order. December 1, 1894 was the date of the first meeting held by the Pioneers in Forty Mile.

  • December 17, 1954: The new school at Mayo is officially opened on December 10 by Commissioner W.G. Brown, at a ceremony sponsored by the PTA.



  • January 7, 1955: The Kiwanis Club of Whitehorse elected the following officers at their annual meeting: C.J. "Bunny" Lelievre as President; D.W. Busby as Vice-President; J.B. Armor as Secretary; George Frizell as Treasurer.

  • January 21, 1955: The Whitehorse Branch, B.C.-Yukon Chamber of Mines elects the following at their annual meeting: Re-elected President, Gordon Lee; First Vice-President, Alex Berry; Second Vice-President, Don Taylor; re-elected Secretary-Treasurer, Harry Weiland.
  • January 21, 1955: With the leadership of Mayor Gordon Armstrong and Len Wooley, a Better Business Bureau has been formed under Board of Trade Sponsorship.
  • January 21, 1955: The Yukon Order of Pioneers hold their annual meeting and elect the following officers: President, Bert Barber; Secretary, Hector Grant; Treasurer, Elmer Gaundroue. For the 16th consecutive year, Tom Hebert was unanimously re-elected to the office of Warder.

  • January 28, 1955: Miss Dalyce Smith of Whitehorse is selected as one of nine candidates from Western Canada to compete at the Banff Winter Carnival for the title of "Miss Canadian Rockies."


  • February 17, 1955: On February 28, the Bank of Montreal opens new, modern premises that were formerly located at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue. A.C.P. Jones, Bank of Montreal manager, explained that the increased banking in Whitehorse in the past few years has made it necessary for the bank to build larger quarters to give more efficient service.


  • March 3, 1955: Pan American World Airways occupies new centrally located premises. The new office is located in the Whitehorse Inn in the space vacated by the Bank of Montreal.
  • March 3, 1955: Miss Amy Lepage is crowned Winter Carnival Queen. The carnival is the first to be hosted by the Young People's Association.
  • March 3, 1955: The Whitehorse Star formally introduces Mrs. James (Flo) Whyard as Women's editor. She is a newcomer to Whitehorse, but a resident of the North for nearly ten years, Mrs. Whyard pointed out the lack of women's news in the Star and found herself stuck with the job.


  • April 28, 1955: The Yukon Historical Society, at their annual meeting, elect the following officers: Re-elected President, W.D. MacBride; Vice-President, W. Emery; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. J.D. Scott. The museum plans many improvements for the coming year, including enlarged facilities.
  • April 28, 1955: Sarah Stringer, wife of Bishop I.O. Stringer, dies in Vancouver on April 10.


  • May 5, 1955: Board of Trade President, Ernie Theed announces at the Board's annual meeting that the Whitehorse Museum would from now on bear the name of its greatest contributor, W. D. MacBride, who generously gave of his time, effort, patience, and knowledge in developing and maintaining this historic centre.

  • May 12, 1955: The Whitehorse Film Council is formed. The following are elected: President, Archie Sinclair; Vice-President, Harry Weiland; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. L.A. Cyr; Librarian, Harry Thompson. The Whitehorse Film Council hopes to provide a complete community film service and reach its ultimate aim, the establishment of a large permanent film library in the community.

  • May 19, 1955: The Yukon Fish and Game Association elects the following officers for the coming year: President, Mike Nowlan; Vice-President, Stuart MacPherson; Secretary, A.D. (Red) Gawne; Treasurer, Bill Waterous.

  • May 26, 1955: Miss Freda Collins is crowned May Queen at the May Day Carnival that the Whitehorse Young People's Association sponsored. Other candidates were Betty-Lou Graham and Velma Berg
  • May 26, 1955: The Whitehorse Junior Chamber of Commerce elects the following officers: President, Al Prince; Vice-President - Archie Sinclair; Secretary - Bob Grieves; Treasurer - Ernie Carriere.
  • May 26, 1955: Rolf Hougen married Margaret Van Dyke in St. Joseph's Cathedral in Edmonton.


  • July 7, 1955: Whitehorse's Dalyce Smith is named Miss Canada. She is also Pride of the Yukon, and Queen of the Canadian Rockies. She has now been recognized officially from one coast to the other as monarch of them all.

  • July 14, 1955: Corporal L. A. Gibbs, who had been in charge of the Whitehorse detachment, left for Fort Smith, NWT and is to be replaced by Sergeant J.B. Fitzgerald.


  • August 11, 1955: The Duke River Bridge on the Alaska Highway opens August 5. It replaces a 1,400 foot timber trestle bridge constructed by the United States Army in 1943.

  • August 18, 1955: A party of nineteen members of the Imperial Defense College and their commanding officer visit Whitehorse. They were on the annual tour of Northern Canada made by members of the college. They were entertained at the NWHS Officers Mess and made a tour of the Alaska Highway.
  • August 18, 1955: London's Lord Mayor pays a brief visit to Whitehorse, arriving from Vancouver by plane in time to board the S.S. Klondike on its last trip to Dawson that season.

  • August 25, 1955: Three members of the five man royal commission set up to study Canada's economic potential complete the first leg of their year-long job. They arrived in Whitehorse on August 18th and were entertained by F.H. Collins, Commissioner of the Yukon, and Brigadier H.L. Meuser OBE. CD, Officer commanding the Northwest Highway System.
  • August 25, 1955: The newly formed St. John's Ambulance Association elects the following officers for 1955-56: President, Stanley W. Huston; Secretary, Mrs. Beatrice Crow; Treasurer, Leonard Wooley. A class in first aid was given twice weekly for a month.


  • September 22, 1955: The Christ the King Parent-Teacher Association holds its first meeting in the CYO Hall. Howard Firth is named President; Mrs. Corinne Cyr, First Vice-President, and Mrs. Alice Lelievre, Treasurer.
  • September 22, 1955: The Whitehorse Lions Club holds their first meeting of the fall season and elect the following officers: President, Percy Bethune; First Vice-President, Dave Porter; Second Vice-President, Dick Carswell; Third Vice-President, Matt Nelson; Secretary, Harry Fatt; Treasurer, W.M. (Slim) Connolly.

  • September 29, 1955: Streets heaped with dirt, ditches sunk into the mud, and the roar of equipment meant sewer and water for Whitehorse residents. But, not unless they applied formally at city office. Application forms were available there for those wishing to get the benefit of the million-dollar project on this side of the river.
  • September 29, 1955: Going ahead rapidly is the work on the Yukon River's first full-fledged bridge. A 300 foot, three span was rising to reach the area set aside as the city's new housing subdivision, Riverdale and the new hospital.


  • October 20, 1955: Yukon Teachers form an association on October 7/ 8, 1955:, so they may promote the cause of education. The following officers are elected: President, Claude Campbell; Vice-President, Henry Bugara; Secretary, Miss Kay Stark; Treasurer, Noel Martin Koder; Executive Member, George Blair.


  • November 24, 1955: An early morning fire destroyed the garage at Marsh Lake Lodge. The origin of the fire was unknown.


  • December 15, 1955: White Pass and Yukon Route announces that the Steamer Tutshi on the West Taku Arm Service and Steamer Klondike on the Whitehorse-Dawson run will not operate in 1956. With Canadian Pacific Railways announcement of their 1956 schedule for the SS Princess Louise, company officials decided that operating the west Taku Arm Service without the Louise passengers was not economically feasible. This marks the end of fifty-four years of sternwheel operation by the White Pass.
  • December 15, 1955: The Whitehorse Canadian Legion elects the following for the next year: President, Jack Connelly; First Vice-President, A.A. Ross; Second Vice-President, C.W. (Chuck) Badcock.

  • December 22, 1955: The BPO Elks Lodge 306 install the following officers for the coming year: Exalted Ruler, Don MacPhail; Leading Knight, George Webber; Loyal Knight, T. Watson; Lecturing Knight, S. Husten; Treasurer, C.D. Boddulph; Secretary, J. Humme.



  • January 5, 1956: first issue with a new title design.
    The Whitehorse Star (Whitehorse, Y.T.), January 5, 1956

  • January 5, 1956: "Court Happenings" has a lengthy list of cases, primarily for drinking and bad driving.
  • January 5, 1956: Jack Colbourne, a former «Vancouver resident who is now mayor of Dawson City, admitted to The Vancouver Daily Province that he brought the cold weather down with him last week. He will be in that city for another two weeks - about the time the weatherman imagines the cold could last.

  • January 12, 1956: The Old Crow Ski Club was formed in November 1955. The officers were: President, Const. P. A. Robin, RCMP; vice-president, Neil McDonald; secretary, Miss Josephine Netro; treasurer, Rev. R. F. Wheeler, Anglican minister; coach and instructor, Rev. Father Mouchet, OMI, Roman Catholic priest; school committee, Minnie Frost, Helen Netro, Ben Charlie, Irwin Linklater; ways and means committee, Mrs. Clara Frost, Mrs, Effie Linklater, Joe Netro, Robert Bruce, Lazarus Charlie.
  • January 12, 1956: The Kiwanis Club installs the new executive officers of 1956 on January 3. The new officers are Jim Norrington, Chuck Beaumont, Jack Willis and Neil Sutherland.
  • January 12, 1956: The Whitehorse Branch of the Canadian Legion elects the new officers on January 4: Mrs. I. McCandless is the new president.

  • January 19, 1956: Funeral services for 12-year-old John Carl Wilson were held this afternoon at the Old Log Church. The young boy died early Sunday morning as the result of a bullet wound in his head which occurred when a gun he was handling went off.
  • January 19, 1956: A lumber company, several mining companies and others relying on the service given by the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals on the highway north of here have been notified the service will be discontinued February 1. They will then have to depend on commercial communication with their camps in outlying areas.
  • January 19, 1956: Whitehorse's perennial mayor, big, breezy Gordon Armstrong is seeking re-election in order that he may complete the job that has been started and see the water, sewer, new sub-division and street and sidewalk programs through to completion. Mayor Armstrong has seen service with council since its first sessions after Whitehorse became a city.

  • January 26, 1956: The Christ the King School is officially opened on January 14 by Commissioner F.H. Collins.
  • January 26, 1956: Gordon Armstrong was re-elected mayor of Whitehorse on January 24, defeating Craigie Hood. Aldermen are Gordon Cameron, Bill Drury, Jim Hanna, and Jim Smith. However, it is understood today a group of citizens and, perhaps, council itself, is planning to lodge a formal complaint against alleged failure of polling booths to provide adequate privacy as required under the municipal ordinance. Results of such protest could be holding of a second election. At the same time the voters list has come under scrutiny and, it is thought, a protest with regard to it will be lodged also.
  • January 26, 1956: W.S. McBride, National Employment office manager here, has inaugurated a campaign to promote work during the seasonal unemployment period, by means of a two-week drive. He quoted figures of recent unemployment registrations, with a total of about 500 on claim last week. Mr. Theed brought up the problem of disturbances and trouble which can in be caused by idle men. Mr. Setchell stressed the fact that many desirable citizens were forced to leave town as it was impossible for them to support themselves by unemployment benefits alone.


  • February 2, 1956: On January 31, Judge J.E. Gibben declared the January 24th civic election void after an affidavit by Gordon Armstrong and H.D. Boyle about the secrecy at the poll.

  • February 16, 1956: "The community of Hillcrest is made up of 165 homes, 29 occupied by officers and the remaining 136 by NCOs and airmen. In addition to these homes a further 39 airmen and their families reside in the Standard Oil area, a little remote from Hillcrest." Read the entire article about Hillcrest here.

  • February 23, 1956: Martha Louise Black celebrates her 90th birthday. Among the congratulators is Mrs. Eisenhower.


  • March 1, 1956: Some 160 uranium claims were staked in the Bennett Lake area near Carcross last week. Stakers said surface samples recently returned from the assayer's office were marginal. Ground where the first claims were staked is now being drilled.
  • March 1, 1956: Seven miles of cable for the final link in the new Alaska Communi-ation System 110-mile line between Skagway and Whitehorse left Seattle January 13. The new line will add 13 voice circuits between the communities according to ACS engineers.

  • March 8, 1956: Craftsman Cyril Medley Carney, 24, a member of No. 16 Company, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers stationed at Whitehorse, has been honoured with a Queen's medal for bravery. Carney was fishing from a bridge across the Nares River at Carcross on July 31, 1955, when 7-year-old Larry Bratvold fell from the bridge. Having heard the boy state earlier that he could not swim, Carney leaped into the water despite a strong current and the fact that he himself is not a strong swimmer. The soldier succeeded in finding the boy who had disappeared beneath the surface. He used the current to carry them downstream to the railway bridge where both were taken from the water.
  • March 8, 1956: Whitehorse Board of Trade struck a nerve with the transportation bureau investigation of DEW Line freight hauling. Information they have collected shows Canadians were given no chance to bid on the giant mid-winter haul to DEW Line points out of Eagle, Alaska into the Yukon. Neither surface carriers nor airlines, apparently, were permitted a chance at the job. Read the entire lengthy article here.

  • March 30, 1956: Yukon pioneer and Premier of British Columbia from 1933 until 1941, Thomas Dufferin "Duff" Pattullo, dies in Victoria.


  • April 5, 1956: On April 3, Commissioner F.H. Collins hosts the Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable Vincent Massey at the Officers' Lounge at the Royal Canadian Air Force Station in Whitehorse.
  • April 5, 1956: Governor General Vincent Massey names the Yukon River bridge after Robert Campbell.
  • April 5, 1956: The new owners of the former Hickey Garage in Dawson City, Ted Thomas and Will Crayford, have changed the name to "Klondike Motors".
  • April 5, 1956: The Yukon Coat of Arms is officially approved by Her Majesty the Queen.

  • April 12, 1956: Commissioner F.H. Collins announces that effective April 1, the ferry crossings over the Yukon, Pelly and Stewart Rivers on the Whitehorse-Mayo Road and across the Yukon River and Dawson will be free to the public. This means that all roads in the territory are now toll-free.
  • April 12, 1956: Members of the Women's Auxiliary to Whitehorse General Hospital said goodbye to their President, Bea Marr. Margaret Healy succeeds her.

  • April 19, 1956: Corridors through Alaska Panhandle to give Yukon and northern BC access to Pacific Ocean are proposed in the House of Commons by Yukon MP, Aubrey Simmons.
  • April 19, 1956: Al Olson is named president of Whitehorse Curling Club, succeeding Laurent Cyr.
  • April 19, 1956: New lots are for sale in the East Bank Subdivision on April 23.
  • April 19, 1956: Resolution Stirs P.T.A. Ire. A resolution by Dawson City councillor Vic Mellor expressed the belief that school timetables were already full and there was no room for religious education.


  • May 3, 1956: first issue with a new title design.
    The Whitehorse Star (Whitehorse, Y.T.), January 5, 1956
  • May 3, 1956: Jim Norrington was named president of the Whitehorse Board of Trade at the group's annual meeting. He succeeds Ernie Theed.
  • May 3, 1956: C.F. Abrams, Executive-president of the White Pass and Yukon Route, announces the company will ask householder occupying company land in Whiskey Flats to sign a lease. The lease to occupy would require nominal rental payments. A week later, BYN officials report that a majority of residents of Whisky Flats agree to sign leases to occupy their homes that are located on company property. On June 14, the first eviction of the Whiskey Flats is announced for June 18.
  • May 3, 1956: A group of Alaska Highway lodge keepers form the Yukon Lodge Keepers Association. Mike Nolan of Marsh Lake, president, W.G. Brewster of Haines Junction, vice-president, Clyde Wann of Whitehorse, secretary-treasurer.

  • May 10, 1956: Slim MacMillan, bush pilot and prospector, died in a Vancouver hospital last weekend after a plane he was piloting caught fire in the air above Teslin airstrip. He died of pneumonia contracted while still in critical condition from the burns.
  • May 10, 1956: Mrs. Haldenby, wife of the Anglican minister in Dawson, narrowly escaped death when the ice went out at Dawson on May 7. Mrs. Haldenby was walking on the bar with her two small children when the ice jammed and the water swirled in behind her. Luckily there was an old gasoline shovel of McCormick's parked on the beach which she managed to reach with the ice and water at waist level. Fire crews came came quickly and were able to rescue her and her children with ladders.
  • May 10, 1956: The Nisutlin Bay Bridge was officially opened on May 2nd. Commissioner F.H. Collins cut the ribbon and Reverend Father F.B. Triggs, OMI, blessed the bridge. See the article, a lengthy letter to the editor, and early and current photos of the bridge here.

  • May 17, 1956: City Aldermen Drury and Smith were appointed to discuss means of alleviation with territorial engineer regarding dust due to streets being dug up from all the new construction.
  • May 17, 1956: Plans for the projected 12-bed hospital at Mayo are progressing well. Last year the temperature was as low as -48...inside the old hospital!

  • May 24, 1956: New Hospital Started; Building Boom Offers Two Hundred Jobs. 12-acre new hospital site, with a $4 million hospital. "Go ahead" to commence federal construction of fifty-eight houses in new subdivision. Concrete poured at Bank of Commerce site.
  • May 24, 1956: Timed to coincide with the opening of the Haines Highway, the Lynn Canal Corporation of Haines announces the opening of its modern hotel in the city center.
  • May 24, 1956: Three young boys were playing by the river below Whitehorse Rapids on Tuesday, May 22, when they found a box containing 25 dynamite caps. One of the boys kept one of the caps and threw the remainder into the river. Later the same evening the boy tried to light the cap with a match in the dormitory of the Indian Mission. The cap exploded, causing burns and damage to three of the boy's fingers and one of his eyes.

  • May 31, 1956: Plans for CBC to broadcast in the Yukon are underway.


  • June 7, 1956: Commissioner F .H. Collins outlined current developments taking place. This expansion is one of four inter-related projects- subdivision, water and sewer system, the hospital and the bridge. The new subdivision will consist of 200 lots at an average price of $1500 per lot.
  • June 7, 1956: Mr. And Mrs. Bill Clarke presented with ivory Eskimo carvings by more than seventy-five friends at DOT Rec Hall. Bill was a weather observer here for the past six years. He and his wife are moving to Vancouver.

  • June 21, 1956: Queen of the North To Be Chosen. Through cooperation of Skagway, Haines and Whitehorse, an International Queen of the North will be chosen - Whitehorse's candidate 1956 May Queen, Penny Collins, is sponsored by the Legion.

  • June 28, 1956: The Rev. Hesketh, rector of Christ Church Cathedral since 1953, and his wife are leaving for St. Catherines, Ontario, where Rev. Hesketh will be chaplain of Ridley College, a boys' school with 400 students, from which he graduated in 1945.


  • July 5, 1956: A plaque, commemorating the handover of the Alaska Highway from the United States Army to the Canadian Army, is unveiled by Major General G. Walsh, CBE. DSO. CD. It was inscribed: "At this site on April 1st, 1946, the United States Army officially handed over the Alaska Highway and associated facilities to the Canadian Army. This plaque is dedicated to those who built and cared for the Alaska Highway by the members of the Northwest Highway System, June 1956."

  • July 12, 1956: Power Survey of Yukon River Opened. Three experienced engineers and student trainees have started their 800-mile long engineering reconnaissance of the Yukon River.
  • July 12, 1956: Mrs. T.C. Richards, wife of Thomas Cecil Richards, dies on July 9th.

  • July 19, 1956: The Mayor's Committee, consisting of Alderman Jim Hanna, Bill Drury, John Scott, Bill Taylor, Al Bate and Harry Boyle, is going ahead with definite plans to add onto the Civic Center building. Estimated to be ready by summer 1957.
  • July 19, 1956: Father Patrick James Lynch, OMI, leaves for a Prairie post. He was parish priest of the Sacred Heart parish in Whitehorse since August 16, 1951.
  • July 19, 1956: Sewer and Water Work Progressing Well Although hampered By Frost. Only fifty services left to do in the new subdivision.


  • August 2, 1956: First scheduled flight of a Pan American Super" Strato" Clipper leaves Whitehorse, skippered by Captain Kowing. It's the first of its kind to fly into Whitehorse on a regular flight, three times per week, South bound only to Juneau and Seattle.
  • August 2, 1956: John Diefenbaker, the opposition's chief foreigns affairs spokesman, urges July 22 the Canadian government to ask the United States government to let Canada have access to the sea through the Alaska panhandle.

  • August 9, 1956: The new Taku Hotel, the finest and most modern hotel in the north, officially opens tomorrow. It boasts 28 rooms, all with bath and telephone, coffee shop and the Taku Bar.
  • August 9, 1956: In response to many requests, City commences fresh water delivery; those who use the service will be billed monthly. This is not for City profit, but as a service only.

  • August 16, 1956: Reps from the International Harvester Company visit Whitehorse on a tour of the Yukon; they will also visit Keno Hill and Cassiar transport facilities.
  • August 16, 1956: Sophie Yawny and Ernie Armitage have leased the '98 Hotel and bar.
  • August 16, 1956: For the next three years, J.T. Parsons, with 26 years service, will be the Yukon's RCMP Inspector, with forty-two men under his supervision. Inspector Parsons and his family come from Victoria, BC.
  • August 16, 1956: Dalyce Smith, former Miss Canada from Whitehorse, is married on August 13 in Haines.
  • August 16, 1956: Aubrey Simmons, M.P. at Ottawa, sends the Star office a wire stating: Proposal that Northwest Territories Power Commission erect at hydroelectric power plant at Whitehorse Rapids on Yukon River has been approved by Government.

  • August 23, 1956: Representing all countries of the Commonwealth, members of the Imperial Defense College arrived for a short inspection of the Yukon as part of their familiarization tour of Canada.
  • August 23, 1956: Preliminary work is scheduled to commence this fall and completed by fall 1958. lt is proposed to install a second generating unit at Mayo with estimated completion set for late 1957. New plant in Whitehorse will produce sufficient power to permit production of steam for heating and process purposes in the new hospital and for the DND.
  • August 23, 1956: Radio Station CFWH moves to Air Base in the former Roman Catholic Chapel. Change in location is needed to have technicians more easily available, who already work at the Telecommunications Centre just across the road from the station at the Air Base.

  • August 30, 1956: Three Million Gallon Capacity Reservoir Well Underway. Completed reservoir will be 20 feet high, 135 feet wide and 203 feet long, due to be finished in October. Marwell Construction Company and Proctor Construction Ltd are working on it.
  • August 30, 1956: The Alpine Hotel at 204 Rogers Street is an experiment for both Whitehorse and its owner, Max Fuerstner and Sargio Clinaz who started building 13 months ago and only work on it in their spare time. Fuerstner is employed at Taylor & Drury and Clinzz is at the Post Office. The building is arranged like a hotel, has a community kitchen and laundry facilities, and also boasts hot water heating with baseboard radiators (an innovation for northern hotels).


  • September 6, 1956: Sponsored by locals, plans to form local branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society are commencing. Judge J. E. Gibben will act as Chairman for the first meeting, which will be addressed by Red Cross officials from Vancouver.

  • September 13, 1956: Many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Firth gathered at the Whitehorse lnn Ballroom in honor of the Golden Anniversary of T.A. Firth & Son. The general insurance firm was originally established in Dawson in 1906.

  • September 27, 1956: After occupying its premises across Main Street for more than fifty years, the Whitehorse Branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce is moving, and it will be officially opened by Commissioner F .H. Collins. The most notable figure associated with the Whitehorse branch was Robert Service who worked here and at Dawson City from December 1904 to 1909.


  • October 4, 1956: D.W. Ballentine was buried in Dawson at the Pioneer Cemetery. where his wife. Elizabeth Jane, is buried Ballentine, whose story is in many ways the story of the Klondike, is a man described as a tremendous granite slab of a man who packed a record load of 250 pounds up the 45-degrees lopes of the Chilkoot in '98.
  • October 4, 1956: St. John Ambulance Association will start fall classes in first aid at the high school. Local branch President Gordon Riggins. Secretary- Mrs. Kay Johannes.

  • October 11, 1956: Mayo Elects Curling Cub Executive - officers are Tom Prangley, President; Jim Boyes, Vice-president; Mrs. W.R. Gordon, Secretary-treasurer.

  • October 25, 1956: The Teslin Inn is destroyed by fire, loss estimated at $60,000. Owned by Ray Hyde and leased by Gordon Crum, the Inn housed a cocktail lounge, tavern and restaurant as well as 10 rooms.


  • November 1, 1956: Replicas of the coat of arms and the armorial bearings are now on sale for $1.00 at the territorial agency's office.
  • November 1, 1956: Original plans for Northern Canada Power Commission's dam have been altered, lowering the proposed height of the earth fill structure but still raising the river level at the dam site 53 feet above the river bottom. Water level in Miles Canyon will be raised only 12 feet. Hopes the dam would create a virtual lake from the rapids to Marsh Lake will not be realized.

  • November 8, 1956: Annual Fish and Game Association election results in two former officers being reelected. President Mike Nolan (re-elected). Vice-president Bob Friend.
  • November 8, 1956: To make the Civic Center the place to go, a completely new system will be put into effect this year under a full-time manager, Bert Law.

  • November 22, 1956: This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Poole Construction Co. Ltd., who won the contract for construction of the $7,000,000 power project at Whitehorse Rapids. Working with the Edmonton contracting firm will be John. A. Maclsaac.
  • November 22, 1956: Yukon Rexall Drugstores opening at old Canadian Bank of Commerce building at Second and Main. Bob Lynn owns Rexall Drugstores, the largest self-served drugstore in the north between Dawson Creek and Fairbanks.
  • November 22, 1956: Preliminary work on the dam starts this month by John A. MacIsaac Construction Co.
  • November 22, 1956: Whitehorse sewer and water systems are to cost $350 to $450 thousand dollars more than the quoted $ 1,700,000 price, due to re-design of the system, which took place after contracts had been entered into.

  • November 29, 1956: Joe Sparling, president of Alaska-Yukon Refiners and Distributors, and J.C. Rogers, president of investment firm H.C. Flood, outlined the development plans for construction and acquisition of marine terminals, tankage, warehouse and loading facilities. Bulk storage plants are scheduled for Fairbanks, Haines Junction and Whitehorse.
  • November 29, 1956: A five-nurse health scheme for the Yukon approved at fall session of Territorial council. Nurses will serve Whitehorse, Carmacks, Dawson, Mayo, Haines Junction and Watson Lake.


  • December 13, 1956: Mrs. Albert McMillian, manager of the White Pass hotel in Whitehorse from 1900 to 1910, dies in Vancouver.

  • December 20, 1956: A newly completed men's dormitory is now ready at St. Joseph's Hostel, just across the street from Maryhouse at Sixth and Cook.
  • December 20, 1956: Whitehorse Junior Chamber of Commerce bill a new campaign as "The Tragedy of Darkness," taking attack on the lack of street lighting facilities on the Two Mile hill.
  • December 20, 1956: New Hospital Nearly Complete. Staff and patients will move in as soon as the Inspection party arrives.
  • December 20, 1956: Guy S. Churchward, who was among the 3,000 vigilantes who formed a committee in Skagway to deal with the lawless Soapy Smith and his gang, died in Mayo on December 6.



  • January 3, 1957: On December 17th, patients were moved into the new Mayo Hospital, despite it being -40 outside. The new hospital was recently completed by Humphrie Construction from Vancouver.


  • February 7, 1957: Bud Harbottle has crashed his Cessna 185 near Telegraph Creek. "Nobody's hurt but the plane is demolished."
  • February 7, 1957: Big game guide Mike Nolan is touring southern BC showing his wildlife films.
  • February 7, 1957: Latest information available on Alaska-Yukon's proposed refinery at Haines comes from the Vancouver Province business page. Read the entire article here.

  • February 14, 1957: Mrs. A.K. Viaux, owner of the White Pass Hotel, dies at the age of 89.
  • February 14, 1957: A new Catholic chapel will open on February 17. The building was moved from McCrae to property donated by the White Pass, near the Whitehorse Indian Reserve.

  • February 28, 1957: In a lengthy article, Roy Minter stresses the need to start promoting the Yukon Territory as a tourist destination. It was only 6 years prior that Alaska started doing it, and last year tourists spent $13 million there.


  • March 7, 1957: Over 4,000 people attended the first car show to be held in Whitehorse, at the Civic Arena om March 1 and 2. There were 26 new vehicles on display at the show, which was sponsored by the 6 local dealers.

  • March 21, 1957: Yukon's MP Aubrey Simmons announces that the federal government will spend $105,000 on reconstruction of the Canol Road.


  • April 11, 1957: On April 8, Aubrey Simmons is chosen by the territorial Liberals as candidate for the forthcoming elections.
  • April 11, 1957: The Yukon Council decides to adopt the fireweed as the emblem for the Yukon Territory. The crocus had also been considered, but was not chosen since it is the Manitoba provincial flower.


  • May 9, 1957: Erik Nielsen is nominated as the Yukon candidate for the Progressive Conservative party.

  • May 30, 1957: Dawson City and Mayo were flooded on May 23rd as the water in the Yukon and Klondike rivers rose.
  • May 30, 1957: The sternwheeler Yukoner was sold by the White Pass last week, for $450. She was the first boat sold during the planned cleanup of the old shipyards. Read the entire article here.


  • June 13, 1957: "City of Gold", a film depicting the history of gold in Dawson was awarded the grand jury award for documentary film at the Cannes film festival on May 18th.

  • June 20, 1957: J. Aubrey Simmons is initially announced winner of the closest Yukon elections ever (June 15). However, a month later (July 18), the Whitehorse Star reports that irregular votes may cause the election to be voided. On August 1, the Yukon Conservative Party files a petition claiming that 630 votes are irregular. In the following the elections are declared void by a court (October 11). The new election, held in December (December 16), is won by Erik Nielsen who will be the Yukon's MP.


  • July 11, 1957: The Dawson Branch of the B.C. and Yukon Chamber of Mines and the City Council are joint hosts for France's ambassador to Canada Francois La Coste.
  • July 11, 1957: The Whitehorse City Council discusses possible locations of a city garage.
  • July 11, 1957: Lucas Kraytbosch, Consul of the Netherland, pays a week-long visit to the Yukon.

  • July 25, 1957: Wing Commander T.T. "Ted" Scovill is the new commanding officer of the RCAF station in Whithorse. The handing-over ceremony is covered in the Whitehorse Star on August 29.


  • August 29, 1957: The Northern Affairs Minister, Alvin Hamilton arrives for a two-day visit in Whitehorse on August 31. The last trip to the Yukon by a Northern Affairs Minister was in 1954.


  • September 5, 1957: Northern Affairs Minister Alvin Hamilton announces that works on a bridge over the Yukon River at Carmacks will start in 1958.

  • September 19, 1957: Roy Minter joins White Pass.

  • September 26, 1957: For the first time in their history, Indians in the Whitehorse area name a chief for their band: Billy Smith.


  • October 10, 1957: Next year Whitehorse will have two beautiful new churches. Now under construction are the United Church at 6th and Main, and the Whitehorse Baptist Church at, 2nd and Rogers Street. Not since the turn of the century has there been such church building activity. Read the entire lengthy article about Whitehorse church history here.

  • October 17, 1957: The Peace River bridge collapses and stalls Alaska Highway traffic.

  • October 28, 1957: The Yukon's first grocery supermarket is to open November 1st at the Tourist Services complex. Read the full page of articles about the store and its manager, James Smith, here.


  • November 7, 1957: Mrs. Martha Black dies.

  • November 28, 1957: Chris van Overen is the new manager of the Taku Hotel.


  • December 12, 1957: Opened last Saturday, December 7th, the new RCAF Recreation Centre boasts the largest gymnasium in town. Measuring about 60 x 100 feet, the hardwood floor is marked for basketball, badminton and volleyball courts. Construction of the $400,000 centre began last June.
  • December 12, 1957: The last of 65 houses in east Whitehorse was occupied at the end of October, with that the housing development is now completed.
  • December 12, 1957: A new 160-foot bridge across Contact Creek, Mile 588, has just been completed.



  • January 9, 1958: On December 7, 1957:, Commissioner F.H. Collins cuts a ribbon to officially open the new RCAF Rec hall.

  • January 16, 1958: The Young People's Association chooses Cal Waddington for president.

  • January 23, 1958: Former Old Crow Chief Peter Moses receives a medal from the Governor-General on January 12th, for his role in preserving customes and traditions.

  • January 30, 1958: Judge J.E. Gibben dies in Whitehorse on January 28, at the age of 62.
  • January 30, 1958: George Black, former commissioner of the Yukon and ex-speaker of the House of Commons, marries Sadie King in Vancouver.


  • February 6, 1958: Ted Anderson is re-relected Chairman of the Yukon Indian Advancement Association.
  • February 6, 1958: Ione Jean, only daughter of G.I. Cameron, becomes the bride of Arthur Karsten Christensen.

  • February 13, 1958: Federal Resource Minister announces survey work on a road through the Yukon mountains to the Arctic Coast.
  • February 13, 1958: In February, a low-rental housing scheme for Whitehorse is announced by the government. However, on April 16, the territorial council turns down the low-rental housing scheme, putting the program on ice for an extended period.
  • February 13, 1958: It is announced that the steamer "Klondike" will go on its final journey when she leaves the Yukon some time in 1958. The paddlewheeler was sold in January to restaurateur John Lester who plans to use the ship as a tourist attraction during B.C.'s Centennial year.

  • February 27, 1958: Northern Affairs Minister Alvin Hamilton announces details of national development program aimed at the Yukon and NWT. The top priority road is the Flat Creek route to Fort MacPherson, Arctic Red River, East Three and Tuktoyaktuk.


  • March 27, 1958: On March 31, John Phelps and John Scott sell the Yukon Electrical Company to Canadian Utilities of Edmonton.
  • March 27, 1958: Northern Affairs Minister Alvin Hamilton announces the transfer from the United States to Canada of ownership of the Canadian portion of the four-inch Canol pipeline from Skagway to Whitehorse.

  • March 31, 1958: Yukon MP, Erik Nielsen is re-elected. In the 24th federal general election, Progressive Conservatives, led by Diefenbaker, are re-elected with the largest majority to date in Canadian history, defeating the Liberals and their new leader Lester Pearson.


  • April 3, 1958: Flames gut the Elks Home in downtown Whitehorse. The historic building was one of the oldest in Whitehorse and onetime home of Robert Service.
  • April 3, 1958: The Northern Affairs Department approves a street paving program for the city of Whitehorse. Initial stages of paving will go from the foot of Two Mile Hill along Fourth to the UKHM loading area and down Main Street to the White Pass building.


  • May 8, 1958: A newly passed Liquor Ordinance allows now Banquets with liquor on Sundays and extends "drink up" time in bars from 15 minutes to half an hour.
  • May 8, 1958: W. (Bill) Walker was named president of the Whitehorse Board of Trade on May 6th.

  • May 22, 1958: Joanne Parsons is named Queen of the May at Whitehorse's annual May Day Celebrations.


  • June 5, 1958: The first car rally in the Yukon, called the "Cheechako Rally", takes place on the Carcross route on June 1st.
  • June 5, 1958: CBC plans to extend and improve radio broadcasting service in the north. It is planned to build a shortwave station in Vancouver to beam CBC programs to the Yukon and the Mackenzie district of the Northwest Territories, to be completed by 1960.

  • June 19, 1958: Work has begun on construction of the bridge over the Yukon river at Carmacks.

  • June 26, 1958: After many years of operation on a volunteer basis, radio station CFWH is staffed in August/September 1958 by CBC personnel. CBC assumes control of CFWH on November 10, 1958.


  • July 3, 1958: The last surviving member of the Northwest Mounted Police, Patrick (Paddy) Doyle, dies at the age of 95 in Moose Jaw.
  • July 3, 1958: Forest fires are burning out of control in many parts of the Yukon. Two weeks later, it is reported that that forestry men, army, RCAF, and civilians battle the fire. On July 24, 1958, forestry officials say there would have been little hope for Whitehorse if the rain hadn't saved the town. The 30-mile front of fire came up within five miles of the White Pass tank farm and was seen plainly from city streets on July 18.
  • July 3, 1958: John Parker is appointed Judge of the territorial court on July 1. He is sworn in on September 9th.

  • July 10, 1958: The month of June 1958 was the hottest and driest on record in Whitehorse. Mean temperature for the month was 60.7 F (15.9 Celsius), six degrees above normal.
  • July 10, 1958: An earthquake in the Gulf of Alaska was felt throughout the southern Yukon. Though the brief article said "no damage has been reported so far," this earthquake resulted in what is still the largest tsunami on record, at Lituya Bay - 5 people were killed. For much more information, see "The world's tallest tsunami - Lituya Bay, Alaska, 1958".

  • July 31, 1958: A group of hikers, including Blondie Hougen and Bill Drury, retrace in a remembrance hike over the White Pass the steps of the original '98ers.
  • July 31, 1958: The ashes of Klondike Kate are scattered in the Cascade Range of central Oregon, following her request.


  • September 11, 1958: In the Yukon Territorial election on September 8, Charlie Taylor, Jim Smith, George Shaw, Ray McKamey and John Livesay become Territorial Councillors.
  • September 11, 1958: Robert Service dies in southern France.


  • October 2, 1958: Prime Minister Diefenbaker visits the Yukon on September 26.

  • October 16, 1958: Commissioner F.H. Collins officially opens the new school at Elsa on October 8.

  • October 23, 1958: No trace has been found of two Camp Takihini men missing in the dark waters of Marsh Lake since Sunday. Object of an intensive search are Ralph Huene and Louis Kuhn who were last seen about 4 pm Sunday when they left the island near the North end of Marsh Lake. Read the entire story here.

  • October 30, 1958: Northern Affairs Minister Alvin Hamilton announces a refinery for Haines Junction.
  • October 30, 1958: W. S. Martin, QC, noted lawyer of the Niagara District, shared some stories about his father, Whitehorse steamboat Captain Paddy Martin. Read that and another article about Captain Martin here.


  • November 13, 1958: Haines Junction is provided with power by Yukon Electric Power.


  • December 11, 1958: Flo Whyard is elected President of the Women's Auxiliary.



  • January 8, 1959: On January 3, 1959:, President Eisenhower proclaims Alaska the 49th State of the U.S.A.
  • January 8, 1959: The new Dawson Elementary High School opens on January 6, with temperatures at 63 degrees F below (-52.8 Celsius) .

  • January 15, 1959: Bill Walker is elected president of the Kiwanis club.
  • January 15, 1959: Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation announces the appointment of the Dr. Paul Kavanagh as general manager.

  • January 22, 1959: The White Pass paddlewheeler "Casca" is bought by Eagles Plan Tourist Attraction Plus Club, in an attempt to preserve and renovate the steamer as a tourist attraction.
  • January 22, 1959: The Yukon Territorial Council announces its plans to inaugurate the national health plan in the Yukon by January 1960.


  • February 5, 1959: From air cadet to jet pilot is the record of F/O Lance McCowan, who received his pilot's wiwgs last month at Gimli, Manitoba. After graduating in 1957 from Whitehorse high school, Lance joined the RCAF to be a jet pilot. He was among 65 chosen from 1,000 applicants in western Canada. Of these, only nine completed the course as pilots. Sponsored by NATO, the course prepares the young men to fly CF-100s.

  • February 25, 1959: Old Crow post office opens February 25, marking the first Canadian postal service for this northern settlement.


  • March 5, 1959: Einar "Blondie" Hougen died in California on February 28 after a prolonged illness. His funeral was held in Vancouver on March 5.


  • April 2, 1959: The new Whitehorse General Hospital was officially opened on March 30.
  • April 2, 1959: A landmark in Dawson City since 1901, the Ogilvie Bridge over the Klondike River just south of the city collapsed on March 28 after being struck by a White Pass truck.

  • April 23, 1959: The new Bailey bridge across the Klondike river at Dawson City was opened to the public on April 16.


  • May 28, 1959: Full military honors will be accorded the late Capt. Ralph B. Huene, CD, tomorrow. His body was found Sunday afternoon in Marsh Lake. With Sgt. L. J. Kuhn, he had been missing and believed drowned since October 19 last year. Read the entire story here.


  • June 4, 1959: Fred Lucas is elected District Governor the Lions' Yukon and Alaska District.
  • June 4, 1959: After more than 50 years service to the White Pass and Yukon Route, C. J. Rogers, Sr. is appointed Board Chairman.

  • June 18, 1959: On June 12th, store owner Isaac Taylor died at the age of 95.

  • June 25, 1959: The Empress of Winnipeg, one of Canadian Pacific Airlines' Britannia jet props, landed at Whitehorse to refuel on a flight from Tokyo. Locals "were amazed at the size of CPA's monster."
  • June 25, 1959: The long lost grave of Kate Carmack is found in Carcross on May 18 (read article).


  • July 9, 1959: Judy Lelievre is proclaimed the Haines Strawberry Festival Queen on July 3rd.

  • July 16, 1959: Officials of the Wenner-Gren B.C. Company propose to run the northern railway north from Prince George to the Yukon border.

  • July 23, 1959: The Queen and Prince Philip visit the Yukon on July 18th. They stay in the DOT residence near the old airport terminal. The royal visit is surrounded the week-long Trail of '98 Carnival. Some of the plans in her Yukon needed to be changed due to the Queen's "illness". It is later announced that the Queen is pregnant, with Prince Charles.

  • July 30, 1959: Premier Bennett proposes to the federal governement that British Columbia be given part of the Northwest Territories in return for full provincial maintenance of the 600-mile section of the Alaska Highway.The extra territory would include the power-rich and oil rich Mackenzie River basin and would make British Columbia the biggest province in Canada.


  • August 6, 1959: Maurice C. W. Grant is the manager of Whitehorse Motors starting July 7.

  • August 13, 1959: An option on copper claims in the Bornite Creek-Kathleen Lake area, staked by Bert Boyd in 1958, has been taken by Conwest Explorations Ltd. and a diamond drill crew has been moved in to the site. The equipment was taken up Kathleen Lake 6 miles by boat.
  • August 13, 1959: Official ceremonies opening the Yukon River Bridge at Carmacks will be held on Sunday, August 23rd. They will be conducted by Glen Harris for the contracting firm, Dawson and Hall; Erik Nielsen, MP; John Livesey, Carmacks-Kluane territorial councillor; and Commissioner F. H. Collins, who will cut the ribbon.

  • August 14, 1959: The Alaska Yukon Refiners & Distributors open their separation plant at Haines Junction.

  • August 20, 1959: Official news of an Eagle Plains Oil Strike are aired by Commissioner F.H. Collins on August 17.
  • August 20, 1959: An early-morning fire at the Scotty Creek Lodge on the Alaska Highway on August 6th completely destroyed the important stopping-place.
  • August 20, 1959: The total population of the Yukon, based on a "reasonably accurate estimate," is 13,000, of which 9 were Eskimos, 1,850 Indians and 11,141 white.
  • August 20, 1959: Immigration Minister Ellen Fairclough says Indian reservations will likely remain as the centre of Indian population of Canada.
  • August 20, 1959: Defence Minister Pearkes, recent visitor to Yukon, says his department is anxious to be rid of the responsibility of maintaining the 1,200-mile Canadian section of the Alaska Highway. "They can have it for the asking, anyone who wants to pave and maintain it," he said before leaving on an inspection tour of the highway.

  • August 27, 1959: Commissioner F.H. Collins officially opens the Yukon River Bridge at Carmacks on Sunday, August 23rd. Speakers at the opening ceremonies are Yukon Territorial Councillor, John Livesey, and Erik Nielsen, the Yukon's Member of Parliament.

  • August 29, 1959: The first asphalt is laid in Whitehorse on Main Street.


  • September 3, 1959: The Selkirk Street School in Riverdale is opened by Commissioner F.H. Collins. Taking part in the official ceremonies are Mayor Gordon Armstrong, Member of Parliament, Erik Nielsen and Territorial Councillor, Charlie Taylor.

  • September 10, 1959: The first annual Haines car rally takes place on September 5/6 1959.

  • September 17, 1959: A tornado hits Watson Lake on September 9. No casualities are reported.
  • September 17, 1959: Old Crow gets its first piano. It has been brought down on the river from Dawson City and will be used for teaching purposes.


  • October 8, 1959: Judge Parker proposes Indian Affairs be taken over by the territory.

  • October 29, 1959: "Larry" Higgins, longtime Yukoner and former member of the Yukon government, dies on September 17, at the age of 73.


  • November 5, 1959: Proctor Construction of Whitehorse, well-known in the heavy construction field, is building a 200-mile-long road from Hanson Lakes into the Peel Plateau, for Amerada Petroleum.

  • November 5, 1959: Yukon pioneer Hector Grant died at work in Whitehorse last week. An accountant for the Northern Affairs Department, he was born in Dawson on August 25, 1914, and he spent most of his life in that community.

  • November 26, 1959: WHTV brings cable TV to the Riverdale and Takhini areas.


  • December 4, 1959: When the issue of separate schools came up in territorial council last Thursday for preliminary talks, the gallery was filled to standing room. Not settled yet, the matter is scheduled for further investigation at tomorrow afternoon's session. Last week, Father Studer spoke in support of a brief presented by the Catholic Episcopal Corporation requesting expansion of separate school facilities here. He said it was the wish of Roman Catholic ratepayers that a separate high school be built, possibly in Riverdale.
  • December 4, 1959: The total cost of a hospital insurance program for the Yukon would be in the neighourhood of $610,000 a year, territorial councillors were told this week. Main points of interest for councillors is the federal government’s decision on a request made last spring, when Ottawa was asked to pick up the tab for the cost of Indian care and everything over $25 per day for other Yukon hospital patients.
  • December 4, 1959: Canada's first national flag could well come out of the Yukon. Harry Gordon-Cooper, pilot, prospector, former hotsprings owner and now clerk of the court has designed a Canadian Flag which not only fits the traditional rules of heraldry but meets the historic and sentimental needs of most segments of the nation. In addition, its design is sufficiently striking to arouse the Patriotic spirit that normally lies fairly dormant in the Canadian heart.

  • December 10, 1959: A large-scale search for California pilot Ralph Kolsrud, missing since Monday somewhere North of here on a flight in his wheel-equipped Cessna 180 between Northway, Alaska, and Whitehorse is being pressed by the RCAF and private aircraft.
  • December 10, 1959: Police this week recovered the bodies of two men drowned in Kluane Lake. Reported missing November 30 were Burwash resident James Frederic Watt and Aishihik resident Walter David. Apparently the two men were crossing the lake with a dog team and came to a soft spot in the ice.
  • December 10, 1959: A staggering 2,570 Pepsi Cola bottle caps were collected by Greg Phillips to win first place in the cap collecting contest sponsored by Northland Beverages. Greg McLeod with 2,529, Pepsi caps won second place. Third went to Michael Roberts with 2,214 tops. Top prizes includes a bike, skates, and records.

  • December 17, 1959: Mayor Cameron announced on December 13 that he will not run in January's civic elections.
  • December 17, 1959: American pilot Ralph Kolsrud was found last week half-way between Haines and Mile 1016, about 84 hours after he was first reported missing. He was found uninjured, walking about 10 miles from his plane, which was not damaged.
  • December 17, 1959: Private individuals driving children to and from school in outlying districts came under discussion at territorial council after police at Destruction Bay said ordinary insurance was insufficient. YTG is in the process of notifying all people who carry children to school to have their insurance policies endorsed for carrying passengers for hire.

  • December 24, 1959: Future municipal elections will be held annually but with only half the council seats up for votes each time. This will help to maintain continuity in the membership of council. Two-year term remains the same.
  • December 24, 1959: On the lookout for agricultural as well as mineral prospects, Conwest’s Alec Berry this month began investigations of the "Donjek berries". A silvery white berry, this wild fruit is found only on the gravel bars of the Donjek River.
  • December 24, 1959: Both the Yukon mines chamber and the B.C.-Yukon Chamber of Mines are protesting the proposed establishment of a national park in the St. Elias range. They say it has good mineral prospects and it would be wrong to keep prospectors and mining oompanies out.

  • December 31, 1959: Two children were burned to death yesterday afternoon at Koidern in a sudden blaze that destroyed a CNT repeater station dwelling. Dead, are five-year-old Grant Steven Kerik and his three-year old brother Rodney James Kerik.
  • December 31, 1959: A Christmas Day fire gutted a warehouse at the Riverboat Cafe, Mile 900. The blaze destroyed the light plant and building supplies stored in the warehouse. The fire apparently was started by a traveller who ran out of gas and started a fire in a bucket of oil in the warehouse, for warmth.
  • December 31, 1959: Cement on the north Fourth Avenue sidewalk was found okay this week after city council had questioned its quality and held up payment to contracting firm General Enterprises who had laid the walk.

Continue to January 1960